As the NHL Awards near, SenShot continues to preview and predict the winners. We have looked at the Lady Byng, Bill Masterton, and Frank Selke awards, and now we turn our attention to the most dictatorial award, the Bridgestone Mark Messier Leadership Award.
AWARDED TO: “the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular season”- NHL.com
VOTED BY: This award is given out by one man, Mark Messier after getting names of deserving candidates from various sources.
AND THE NOMINEES ARE:
DANIEL ALFREDSSON: The longest-serving captain in the NHL, the Ottawa Senators’ Daniel Alfredsson led his team through a trying season that saw four of the team’s top 5 players miss extended periods of time due to injury. It wasn’t the best season in terms of statistics for the 17 year veteran but on many nights he led by example and on many nights he was the club’s best forward. He is also the face of the franchise off the ice and is involved in many charities as a spokesperson or public supporter, most notably various mental health initiatives..
DUSTIN BROWN: The most recent player to hoist the Stanley Cup, Dustin Brown is the captain of the Los Angeles Kings, and has been for 5 seasons. He leads by example and also uses his talents for a fundraising cause, donating $50 for every hit to various causes in the LA area.
JONATHAN TOEWS: The captain of the Chicago Blackhawks since he was 20 years old in 2008, Jonathan Toews is one of the most talented and all-around players in NHL history, and another player who leads by example. He is also involved with a variety of charities in Chicago and his hometown of Winnipeg, including the Make-A-Wish foundation.
AND THE WINNER IS…
Daniel Alfredsson is SenShot’s pick. While his career might be winding down, the way the young players look up to him for guidance is unprecedented in Ottawa. And while on-ice leadership is one component, I don’t know if there is a person in the NHL who is more available or public in his support of charity in the city. It might be a tad bit biased, but Alfredsson’s selection was unanimous among SensShot’s panel of writers.