NEW YORK -- Forwards Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks, Andrew Ladd of the Winnipeg Jets and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks are the three finalists for the 2014-15 Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award presented by Bridgestone, which is awarded "to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season," the National Hockey League announced today.
Mark Messier solicits suggestions from club and League personnel as well as NHL fans to compile a list of potential candidates for the award. However, the selection of the three finalists and ultimate winner is Messier's alone. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 24, during the 2015 NHL Awards from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Following are the finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award presented by Bridgestone, in alphabetical order:
Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks
Anaheim's captain since 2010-11, Getzlaf led the Ducks with 25-45—70 during the regular season to power the club to its second consecutive Western Conference title. Off the ice, he continued his philanthropic endeavors throughout Orange County, highlighted by the annual Getzlaf Golf Shootout. This year's event generated more than $300,000 for CureDuchenne, a nonprofit that raises awareness and funds research for those suffering from the progressive muscle-wasting disease. Getzlaf also continued his efforts to grow hockey in Southern California, partnering with teammate Corey Perry to support - both in money and time - the Anaheim Ducks Learn to Play Program, which offers free classes for first-time hockey players ages 4-12.
Andrew Ladd, Winnipeg Jets
Ladd, the franchise's captain for the past five seasons, established career highs with 38 assists and 62 points to propel the Jets to their best campaign in club history. Also known for his leadership role off the ice, Ladd partners with Special Olympics in a variety of fundraisers and activities. Those include tickets to games, meet-and-greets and floor hockey tutorials. This year, Ladd increased his participation with organization - which provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities - by serving as the presenter of medals at the Special Olympics Manitoba Games, donating his time in live-auction prizes and attending the Stars ‘FORE' Special O Golf Tournament as a celebrity host.
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
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.
Presented by Bridgestone in honor of one of hockey's great leaders, this award was first handed out in 2007.
The three finalists for NHL trophies are being announced by NBCSN in the United States and Sportsnet/TVA in Canada on Stanley Cup Playoff broadcasts through May 6, during pregame programming from 6:30 - 7:00 p.m. ET. The series of announcements continues on Tuesday, May 5, when the three finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award will be unveiled.
IMG will produce the 2015 NHL Awards, under the direction of executive producer Steve Mayer.
A full lineup of presenters and entertainment as well as information on broadcasting and tickets and hospitality and travel packages through PrimeSport will be announced at a future date. In what has become an annual tradition, EA SPORTS will unveil the Cover Athlete for the upcoming launch of NHL 16. In addition, fans can enter for a chance to win a trip to the 2015 NHL Awards at www.NHL.com/Vegas and tweet about the event using the official hashtag #NHLAwards.