Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews 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 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. Selection of the three finalists and the ultimate winner is Messier's alone. Other finalists for this year's honor were Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and Andrew Ladd of the Winnipeg Jets.
Chicago's captain since he was just 20-years-old, Toews led the club with 28-38—66 in the regular season to guide the Blackhawks to their seventh consecutive playoff berth. He also built upon his work in the community, where he actively participates in various team endeavors, including Make-A-Wish visits and the Four Feathers Golf Invitational. Independently, Toews served as the honorary chairperson for the Israel Idonije Fundraiser, which helps underserved communities by providing programs focused on social and emotional life skills; supported The Winnipeg Foundation in creating its Nourishing Potential campaign; and continued his role with Misericordia, a Chicago group that offers care for those with mild to profound developmental disabilities.