In his third professional season, defenceman Dion Phaneuf has not only established himself as an elite player but has also proven he is a proud Albertan who truly understands how important it is to use his profile to enhance the work of local charities and make a positive impact on his community.
For the past two seasons Dion has attached his name to the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation acting in the role of honorary spokesperson. This is an important leadership position for the Flames considering the recent announcement of our organization’s support for Rotary/Flames House, Southern Alberta’s first free standing pediatric hospice.
Dion has made numerous appearances to support the Alberta Children’s Hospital, including their annual radiothon. Dion joined a group of tireless volunteers at the hospital and answered phones to collect funding. He also decided that he would use his own contacts to help raise more money for the hospital by recruiting his teammates to all jump on board in financial support. Additionally, Dion donates season tickets to the hospital to be distributed among the children and their families as a respite from their illness.
Dion is always the biggest “HIT” at the Flames annual wheelchair floor hockey game at the hospital. As well, he is a popular player with all the children during the Flames Christmas visit. He participated in each and every one of the team’s community initiatives including NHL Super Skills, the Flames Ambassadors Charity Poker Night, Retro’s Bowl-a-Rama, the Flames Charity Golf Classic and the annual Molson Cup Luncheon.
The 22-year-old rearguard is having a banner season on the ice for the Flames as well. He has recorded career highs in points (56) and assists (40) and with 16 goals, he is only 4 shy of his former best total of 20. Only last season’s Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom and veteran Sergei Gonchar have more points on the backend this year than Phaneuf. Additionally, he leads the NHL with nine powerplay goals as a defenceman.
Phaneuf becomes the 17th recipient of the Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award, joining Rhett Warrener (2005-06, 2006-07), Martin Gelinas (2003-04), Denis Gauthier (2002-03), Jarome Iginla
(2000-01, 2001-02), Robyn Regehr (1999-00), Ed Ward (1997-98, 1998-99), Mike Sullivan (1996-97), Gary Roberts (1995-96), Al MacInnis (1994-95), Joel Otto (1992-93), Bob Johnson (posthumously, 1991-92), Jamie Macoun (1990-91), Tim Hunter (1989-90), Lanny McDonald (1986-87, 1988-89), and Jim Peplinski (1987-88)
In February 1985, Ralph Scurfield Sr., co-owner of the Calgary Flames, was tragically lost in a heli-skiing accident. He was recognized as a leader in the Calgary business community and a builder of the University of Calgary business programs. Scurfield was a true supporter of all sports, and a believer in community involvement. In recognition of those roles, in his memory the co-owners of the Calgary Flames established the Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award, which is presented annually to a Calgary Flames player.