MONTREAL – The recipient of the Jean Béliveau Trophy for the 2007-08 season was honored on Tuesday during a ceremony prior to the game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Habs legend Jean Béliveau presented the award to Canadiens right winger Alex Kovalev for his charitable endeavors in the community.
The selection committee, comprised of members of the Board of Directors of the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation, evaluated the candidates according to the effort, enthusiasm, implication and time invested in both collective and personal initiatives. They were also evaluated on their commitment, leadership and financial assistance to the causes close to their heart.
Kovalev’s humanitarian involvement is a genuine testimony of his commitment to others and particularly to children. When it comes to caring for children and providing the necessary help they need to overcome various challenges, he has been tremendously supportive in many ways.
Whether in Russia or here in the province of Quebec, Kovalev's dedication is no different and his goal remains to help all children who need special care. In the summer months he travels back to his homeland where he offers hockey clinics for children who could not afford it otherwise. Closer to home, he renewed his support to the Canadiens Children’s Foundation for the 2007-08 season by inviting over 300 sick children to attend a Canadiens game from his Kovy’s Friends private suite.
Last summer, Kovalev announced the creation of the Kovalev and Friends for Kids Foundation, which aims at facilitating access to highly-specialized medical care for children with cardiovascular deficiency. Among the several initiatives he has undertaken to raise funds is a DVD set featuring his training methods, which brought in $120,000, all for his foundation.
This year’s runner up for the Jean-Béliveau award was defenseman Patrice Brisebois, whose community initiatives and personal dedication to our youth has been recognized over the last several years. Former recipients of the award since it was first introduced back in October 2003 are team captain Saku Koivu, forward Steve Bégin and defenseman Francis Bouillon.
The Jean Béliveau Trophy is awarded annually to the Canadiens player who best exemplifies leadership qualities in the community. In honor of Jean Béliveau’s devotion, attentiveness and commitment to the community, the award is accompanied by a $25,000 donation from the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation which Alex has chosen to remit to the Kovalev and Friends for Kids Foundation.
The Montreal Canadiens are proud to contribute to Montreal and Quebec’s heritage not only through their on-ice accomplishments, but also their commitment to the community. Accessibility, authenticity, generosity, commitment and team spirit are the values cherished by all members of the organization as they unite their efforts to make a difference for the present and the future.