Toews, Dominic Moore and Burns set examples for the rest of the NHL to follow.
With the NHL Awards just five days away, Anthony Pucik predicts who he thinks will win all the awards in Vegas. Today, he takes a look at who will win awards for their services outside of the rink.
Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award
Finalists: Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings), Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks), Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)
To be selected as a finalist for the Messier NHL Leadership Award is an accomplishment in it of itself. To be recognized as a leader both on and off the ice by clubs and league personnel embodies what every captain should strive for on every team in every sport. This is obviously Messier’s decision to make, but if I had to choose I would go with Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks. Being a runner-up for the award in 2012-2013, Toews has already proven his worth to be selected for the award. He became the Blackhawks captain when he was 20 in 2008 and hasn’t looked back. He has led his team to Stanley Cup victories twice since then and was essential to the club on both runs with his leadership and perseverance throughout the season. Even more important than his on ice accomplishments, Toews also grants wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation as well as works with various children’s charitable causes in the Chicago community. A true leader and valued captain on and off the ice, Toews is my selection for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award this season.
Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy
Finalists: Jaromir Jagr (New Jersey Devils), Manny Malhotra (Carolina Hurricanes), Dominic Moore (New York Rangers)
I think the Masterson Trophy deserves to go to Moore this year. If there is anyone who has exemplified perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey over the past season it is Dominic Moore. The 33-year old took a leave of absence in 2012 to care for his wife, Katie, who was suffering from a rare form of liver cancer. Katie eventually passed away in January 2013, and Moore took a year off from hockey and started the Katie Moore Foundatoin to help all patients who were suffering from rare forms of cancer like Katie’s. After his year off, Moore returned to the New York Rangers for the second time in his career and was a key component of their fourth line all season. A man with a huge heart and dedication to the sport of hockey, Dominic Moore is my Masterson Trophy winner.
NHL Foundation Player Award
Finalists: Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins), Brett Burns (San Jose Sharks), Duncan Keith (Chicago Blackhawks)
Much like the Messier Award and Masterson Trophy, to be nominated for the NHL Foundation Player Award is an honor in it of itself. All three of these men have done great things for their respective communities and should be looked on as examples for other athletes around the league to do the same. While all three have done tremendous things for their community, Brett Burns stands out the most to me. He has donated more than a million dollars to Defending the Blue Line, which gives children in military families the chance to play hockey, and also hosts 500 clients from the organization in his suite in San Jose. He also shaved his beard this year to raise $24,000 for his former teammate Dominic Moore’s aforementioned Katie Moore Foundation. For all these reasons, Burns is my choice for the NHL Foundation Player Award.