Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is the recipient of the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award presented by Bridgestone, which is awarded to a player "in recognition of his commitment and service to charities in his community." The award recognizes an individual as a superior leader in hockey and as a contributing member of society. It honors an individual who leads by positive example through on-ice performance, motivation of team members and a dedication to community activities and charitable causes.
Messier solicits suggestions from club and League personnel and NHL fans in compiling a list of potential candidates. However, the selection of the three finalists and the ultimate winner is Messier’s alone.
Crosby, at the tender age of 22, already has led the Pittsburgh Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cup Finals; became not only the youngest captain in NHL history but also the youngest captain to win the Stanley Cup; and scored the decisive goal in overtime to give Team Canada the gold medal in the 2010 Olympic hockey tournament. While many are familiar with his on-ice accomplishments, Crosby also leads by example off the ice with his extensive charitable work within the community. Sidney gives of his time generously during the season for Penguins’ related charitable causes including: the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Project Bundle-up, Penguins’ Charity practice and luncheon, several hospital visits and several post-game meet and greets for various charities. He also most recently established the Sidney Crosby Foundation, which focuses on youth charities. In each of the past two seasons, he has teamed up with the Penguins and Dick’s Sporting Goods to introduce hockey to local youngsters by outfitting 600 area children from head to toe with hockey gear through the Little Penguins "Learn to Play Hockey" program. The Cole Harbour native recently was honored by his home province with the Order of Nova Scotia for his community service, another first for someone his age.