NEW YORK – Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron, San Jose Sharks forward Brent Burns and Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith are the three finalists for the 2013-14 NHL Foundation Player Award, presented to "an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey – commitment, perseverance and teamwork – to enrich the lives of people in his community," the National Hockey League announced today.
NHL clubs submitted nominations for the NHL Foundation Player Award and the finalists were selected by a judging panel. The NHL Foundation will present $25,000 to the chosen charitable organization of this year's recipient. The winner will be announced Tuesday, June 24, during the 2014 NHL Awards from Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. The 2014 NHL Awards will be broadcast by NBCSN in the United States and CBC in Canada.
Following are the finalists for the NHL Foundation Player Award, in alphabetical order:
Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
Since arriving in Boston at the age of 18, Bergeron has established himself as a force on the ice as well as an even greater leader within the community. In 2006-07, he introduced "Patrice's Pals," a program that provides children from various youth organizations the opportunity to watch Bruins home games from a luxury suite and meet Bergeron following the game. Among the charities that have participated are Boston Children's Hospital, Defending the Blue Line, Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, Franciscan Hospital for Children, The Jimmy Fund, The Home for Little Wanderers and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks
A passionate and charismatic individual both on and off the ice, Burns has donated more than $1 million to Defending the Blue Line (DTBL), which provides children of military families the opportunity to play hockey. He hosts 500 DTBL clients in "Burnzie's Battalion" suite at SAP Center each season and his hockey equipment drives at Sharks Ice at San Jose are the organization's most lucrative fundraisers each year. In 2013, Burns also shaved his infamous long hair and beard to raise $24,000 for DTBL and the Katie Moore Foundation, established by close friend and former teammate Dominic Moore to help those suffering from rare cancers.
Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks
A dynamic defenseman on the ice, Keith also has made an impact in the Chicago community through his charity, Keith Relief. After experiencing firsthand the challenges that medical procedures can present, Keith and his wife made it their mission to assist others by alleviating some of the financial and emotional burdens of families and individuals during times of medical crises. Keith Relief has raised more than $250,000 through benefit concerts since 2012, with all proceeds benefiting the organization as well as Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.
NHL players have a longstanding tradition of supporting charities and other important causes in their communities. NHL member clubs are constant in their quest to help local schools, hospitals and charitable organizations. Clubs submit nominations for the NHL Foundation Player Award and the finalists are selected by a judging panel. This award was first presented in 1998.