The National Hockey League announced today the finalists for the 2014 Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award presented by Bridgestone, given annually to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular season, naming Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews as a finalist. Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings) and Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks) were also named finalists.
Toews, 26, ranked third on the Blackhawks with 68 points (28g, 40a) and ranked second on the team with a plus-26 rating in 76 regular-season games. He also ranked second on the Blackhawks with 51 takeaways and ranked fifth in the NHL, third in the Western Conference, winning 57.2 of his faceoffs this season. Toews ranked fifth in the League, second in the Western Conference, with 884 faceoff wins.
Off the ice, Toews volunteers to grant wishes through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, including a special skating session with 4-year-old Nicholas Skretkowski prior to the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Soldier Field. Additionally, the Blackhawks captain, two-time Stanley Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist, often hosts postgame meet-and-greets with young fans during the season. An annual participant in the Four Feathers Golf Invitational–the team’s largest charity event of the year–Toews routinely helps out with fundraisers, either through the donation of autographed memorabilia or personal appearances.
Toews is also very active in the Chicago group Misericordia, which offers a community of care that maximizes potential for persons with mild to profound developmental disabilities. He has volunteered with the group and brought the Stanley Cup to tour the campus and visit with residents after the 2013 season.
The Winnipeg, Manitoba, native was the runner-up for the award, which was first presented at the end of the 2006-07 season, following the 2012-13 season.
The winner of the 2014 Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award will be announced during at the NHL Awards Show on June 24 in Las Vegas, Nev. The award is selected by Messier himself, after soliciting suggestions for finalists from club and League personnel as well as NHL fans.