Tommy Wingels Nominated For The 2012 Bill Masterton Trophy

The San Jose Sharks Tommy Wingels has been nominated for the 2012 Bill Masterton Trophy by the Bay Area chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. Wingels received the nomination for his work with the You Can Play Project, a group that is committed to create an environment where all athletes are accepted regardless of sexual orientation.

The Masterton Trophy is awarded each season to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.

"I think this project is on the NHL is ready for," said Wingels via team release. "We’re trying to create an atmosphere that’s free for everyone. If you can play this game, you can play – it doesn’t matter your sexual orientation."

More from the release:

Wingels is one of two NHL players who have provided financial support to get the project under way and sit on its advisory board. More than three dozen other players have signed up to give their support since its launch.

Wingels, 23, was the team captain at Miami University when Burke, a student manager for the hockey team, told players and coaches he was gay in April 2009. Ten months later, Brendan Burke tragically died in an auto accident.

>> Team Release

More information on the project can be found at the organization's official website.

Congratulations to Mr. Wingels on the nomination.

Most importantly, congratulations to You Can Play on making a huge impact in the fight for equality, not just in the sport of hockey, but across society as a whole.