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Brown, Getzlaf, Toews named Messier Leadership Award finalists

Apr 29, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT

Dustin Brown Getty Images

On Tuesday, the NHL announced a trio of captains — Chicago’s Jonathan Toews, Los Angeles’ Dustin Brown and Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf — had been named finalists for the Mark Messier Leadership Award, given annually to “the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and office the ice, during the regular season.”

From the league:

Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings

Brown has spent his entire 10-year NHL career with the Kings, serving as their captain for the past six campaigns. Known for his physical style of play, he donates $50 per hit to a different charity each season. In
2012-13 and 2013-14, Brown selected Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit. Prior to that, he and his wife partnered with the nonprofit KaBOOM! to raise $70,000 and build a new playground in Carson, Calif., that now hosts more than 100 kids per day. The 29-year-old Ithaca, N.Y., native is a finalist for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award for the third time, having also been nominated the past two seasons.

Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks

Getzlaf enjoyed a banner year in 2013-14, scoring a career-high 31 goals and ranking second in the NHL with 87 points to lead the Ducks to their best season in franchise history. Anaheim’s captain since 2010-11, he also has taken leadership role off the ice, highlighted by the annual Getzlaf Golf Shootout. The third such event, hosted in September, raised more than $300,000 for CureDuchenne, a nonprofit that raises awareness and funds research for those suffering from the progressive muscle-wasting disease, which impacts one in every 3,500 boys. The 28-year-old Regina, Sask., native is a finalist for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award for the first time.

Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

Toews has served as the captain of the Blackhawks since 2008-09, when he was just 20-years-old. While his leadership on the ice is undisputed, his work with various children’s charitable causes also makes him a role model in the community. Among those efforts, Toews volunteers to grant wishes through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, including a special skating session with 4-year-old Nicholas Skretkowski prior to the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Soldier Field. The 25-year-old Winnipeg native is a finalist for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award for the second time after finishing as a runner-up in 2012-13.

The league has been handing out the award since the 2006-07, when Chris Chelios took home the inaugural honors. Winners since then include Mats Sundin, Jarome Iginla, Sidney Crosby, Zdeno Chara, Shane Doan and last year’s winner, Daniel Alfredsson.

  1. killerpgh - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    This award is kind of stupid, imo. It’s not a vote to see who should win. Messier get to pick whoever he wants to win the awards and brings 2 other finalists along for the ride. I guess that’s the perk of having an award named after you…

  2. lowenni - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Brown is there this season more due to his charity than on-ice-play, and I’m not taking away from that. Although he has stepped it up in the postseason, his regular season was very disappointing and he was not exemplifying a great leader. Getzlaf and Toews both had great seasons as leaders as well. I think I would’ve given a nomination to Zdeno Chara instead of Brown though. He did a great job leading the team in wake of all of Boston’s injuries.

    • hockey412 - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:27 AM

      What did Chara do off the ice?

      • numbcracker2109 - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:16 PM


      • hockey412 - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:20 PM

        He should get an award for shutting up off the ice?

      • numbcracker2109 - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:27 PM

        Hahaha touché

  3. rbbbaron - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    Messier Leadership Award!? wtf?

  4. xdj511 - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    What… no Callahan? Oh yeah. Although since Messier threw a hissy fit when he wasn’t given the Rangers head coaching job last summer and left the organization, perhaps Callahan is the best representative of Messier’s leadership skills… with the possible exception of Martin St. Louis.

    • stroknows - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:02 PM

      Callahan will be certainly leading the worst contract in NHL history if someone gives him 7/49.

  5. numbcracker2109 - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Charitable donations notwithstanding, brown had a terrible year. I’ve always been a fan of his but a 14 goal campaign isn’t going to win too many awards.

    Kudos on the charitable work of all three though. Hockey players do a lot more for the community than we realize.

    • 19to77 - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:30 PM

      That’s why this award is kind of stupid to me. It barely considers on-ice play, it’s not a vote, and despite the fact that tons of non-captains make huge charitable contributions of their own, only captains can win. What, nobody without a “C” on their chest is a leader? Who decided that?

      • stroknows - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        The NHL, NBA, and the MLB all give awards to players that go above and beyond with charities. I don’t understand why that’s a bad thing in the NHL?

      • 19to77 - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:46 PM

        The basic idea of the award is fine. Mostly it’s the “only captains” and “not actually a vote, just Mark Messier’s opinion” parts that catch me.

      • wjarvis - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:58 PM

        It’s a great idea to give out an award for players who go above and beyond with charities and the NHL certainly should have that. It’s silly to limit that award to only captains of teams and have a single person decide who deserves the award.

      • shoobiedoobin - Apr 29, 2014 at 6:10 PM

        Why does Mark Messier’s opinion suddenly matter?

  6. skr213 - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Brown?? The only thing he leads with is his knee.

    • 19inarow - Apr 29, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      I know, right? Incredible. But then Messier was certainly never a candidate for the Byng.

  7. nicofthenorthstar - Apr 29, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    That brown would be mentioned with the other two is laughable. Maybe he’s a great guy off the ice (hard to believe), but he was average on the ice this year and his constant straddling of the line between gritty and cheap shot artist is hardly exemplary leadership.

  8. ironyisadeadscene - Apr 29, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    Getzlaf for the win

  9. shoobiedoobin - Apr 29, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    Brown: chronic diver
    Toews: throws hissy fits, whines to officials, acts like a child

    Give it to Getzlaf. He leads well, leads by example and could very easily play like his teammates (esp around 07-09 when the whole team was gooning it up and getting awya with it).

    This is is a “who’s the captain of a winning team” award with a sprinkle of reputation dashed in as a sort of tie breaker. Major awards are a joke, this one is especially lame. Crosby has won this twice and his attitude is horrible.

    • shoobiedoobin - Apr 29, 2014 at 6:09 PM

      I forgot to mention Brown’s cheap shots, too.

  10. blomfeld - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:16 PM


    Kudos to the communist Halford for writing this quality piece and ‘hats off’ to Captain Dustin Brown ‘Esquire’ for this terrific achievement ! … all the envy notwithstanding, Dustin is without a doubt the most ‘red-blooded, normal and values-driven’ captain in the business today !


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