We're going to do two awards a day and analyze who we think should win and then say who we think will win. Because there's always a difference and nobody leaves happy except the player who won.
this award is given to the player who helps enrich the lives of others through community service and commitment to the core values of hockey
Finalists: Mike Fisher, John-Michael Liles and Matt Moulson
The article on NHL.com goes through the accomplishments of each player and we will highlight them here.
Room In the Inn, a full-service homeless facility located a few blocks from Bridgestone Arena; Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt; and Cottage Cove Urban Ministries, a Nashville based non-profit organization that serves inner-city youth.
Among other things, of course.
Liles' Buds program, an initiative he developed early in the season in partnership with The Canadian Safe School Network (CSSN) that recognizes children who perform acts of kindness and give back to their community through anti-bullying efforts. Liles donated 10 suite nights to this program, valued at $33,000, to Maple Leafs games during the 2011-12 season to children from the CSSN, Autism Speaks Canada and Cardiac Kids. Liles further demonstrated his dedication to education through a $25,000 donation to the First Book Canada program, money that purchased 5,000 books, supporting First Book Canada's mission to address the challenge of literacy in Canada at its root by providing new, age and language appropriate books to children who otherwise would not be able to access them.
Along with a ton of other things he does.
326 Foundation to benefit the Islanders Children's Foundation and the Kings Care Foundation. This year, Moulson donated $500 for each of his career-high 36 goals for a total of $18,000 to the 326 Foundation. In two seasons of the program's existence, he's donated $32,500 to the program thanks to his 65 goals.
Who we would pick: John-Michael Liles
Just based on the sheer amount of charitable things and money that Liles has given to organizations, we would guess that he would be the best pick. His part of the article goes on and on and on and the amounts of money and organizations that he gives to is staggering. It is nice to see that hockey players are not afraid of giving as much as they can to the community.
Who is probably going to win: Mike Fisher
Because he's the sexy pick and everyone is in love with his wife.
Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award
this award is pretty much what it says, it's a leadership award and one given to a player who shows the qualities that are needed in a captain/leader
Finalists: Dustin Brown, Shane Doan and Ryan Callahan
This award is all about leadership, their work in the community and the absolute drive to win.
In December, Brown was talked about in trades left and right. But we just can't see the Kings going anywhere or winning the Stanley Cup without him as their leader. He has always been the kind of guy that has the big hit and who can turn a game around just by being physical. He is one of the main reasons that the Kings had an incredible run in the playoffs and won the Stanley Cup. He was calm and cool and the perfect leader when the relatively young Kings needed it. Also, he does a lot for the community which is an important part of being a leader in the NHL.
Oh man, Shane Doan. We feel like he's been a captain for like a trillion years. But he's always been the emotional center of the Phoenix Coyotes. One of the best examples that we can give on the leadership quality of Shane Doan is in the playoffs in 2010 when the Coyotes went up against the Detroit Red Wings. Doan was injured in the Coyotes third game and did not play after that. The team did not look the same. They took the series to seven but were steamrolled by the Wings in Game Seven. Without Doan, the Coyotes were not the same team. Without his leadership, the Coyotes failed. That's a leader that makes a difference.
When Callahan was named the captain of the New York Rangers, we were completely on board and excited about this development. In Callahan's first year as the captain, the Rangers were the top team in the NHL and made it to the conference finals in the 2012 playoffs. Pretty good for a young captain. Like Brown, Callahan is a captain who leaves everything out on the ice and the team plays better because of it. They follow his head and play as hard as possible.
Who we would pick: Ryan Callahan
We are unabashed Callahan-supporters and we think that he is the perfect captain for the New York Rangers. He is a lead by example kind of guy and someone that can be that type of leader for years to come.
Who is probably going to win: Dustin Brown
Even before the playoffs, everyone was in love with Brown. But now, everyone loves him even more. It also helps that he is the Stanley Cup winning captain and is super-popular right now.