What is the Mark Messier Award?

Photo: NHL

The Mark Messier Leadership Award, also known as the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, is an annual award given to the NHL player who exemplifies superior leadership qualities both on and off the ice. The award is named after the legendary NHL player, Mark Messier, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest captains in NHL history.

The award was first introduced during the 2006-2007 NHL season, and since then, it has been presented every year to a deserving player. The Mark Messier Leadership Award is unique in that it is not based solely on statistical performance on the ice. Instead, it takes into account the player’s leadership skills, including his ability to motivate and inspire his teammates, his involvement in the community, and his charitable work.

Each year, Mark Messier himself selects the winner of the award. Messier takes into consideration input from a committee consisting of NHL executives, media members, and former players. The committee nominates three players from each NHL team, and then Messier makes the final decision on the winner.

The Mark Messier Leadership Award has become a highly respected honor in the NHL, as it recognizes players who go above and beyond in their leadership roles. The award not only celebrates a player’s on-ice performance but also acknowledges their commitment to their team, their community, and the sport of hockey as a whole.

Winners of the Mark Messier Leadership Award include some of the NHL’s most respected players, including Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Zdeno Chara, and Shea Weber. These players have not only demonstrated exceptional skills on the ice but have also shown tremendous leadership qualities off the ice, serving as role models for their teammates and inspiring others to get involved in charitable causes.

The Mark Messier Leadership Award has also helped to raise awareness for charitable organizations, as each winner receives a $25,000 donation to the charity of their choice. Over the years, the award has supported a variety of causes, including cancer research, children’s charities, and youth hockey programs.

In conclusion, the Mark Messier Leadership Award is a prestigious honor that recognizes NHL players who demonstrate superior leadership skills on and off the ice. The award celebrates players who go above and beyond in their roles as team captains, inspiring their teammates and making a positive impact in their communities. The Mark Messier Leadership Award has become an important part of the NHL season, and its winners are respected not only for their on-ice performance but also for their commitment to making a difference in the world.

  • 2006-2007: Chris Chelios (Detroit Red Wings)
  • 2007-2008: Mats Sundin (Toronto Maple Leafs)
  • 2008-2009: Jarome Iginla (Calgary Flames)
  • 2009-2010: Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins)
  • 2010-2011: Zdeno Chara (Boston Bruins)
  • 2011-2012: Shane Doan (Phoenix Coyotes)
  • 2012-2013: Daniel Alfredsson (Ottawa Senators)
  • 2013-2014: Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings)
  • 2014-2015: Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)
  • 2015-2016: Shea Weber (Nashville Predators)
  • 2016-2017: Nick Foligno (Columbus Blue Jackets)
  • 2017-2018: Deryk Engelland (Vegas Golden Knights)
  • 2018-2019: Wayne Simmonds (Philadelphia Flyers)
  • 2019-2020: Mark Giordano (Calgary Flames)
  • 2020-2021: Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins)
  • 2021-2022: Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings)

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Connor Green

Managing Editor | Inside the Rink

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