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FLAMES ANNOUNCE ANNUAL AWARDS

Mikael Backlund, Dougie Hamilton and Sean Monahan were honoured on Tuesday

by CALGARY FLAMES STAFF @NHLFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

Mikael Backlund, Dougie Hamilton and Sean Monahan were honoured at the Sportsnet Brightest Star Luncheon on Tuesday, each taking home one of the Flames' annual awards.

Backlund was named the Sportsnet 3 Star Cup winner for the 2016-17 season, Hamilton received the J.R. McCaig Award and Monahan collected the Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award.

The Sportsnet 3 Star Cup is given to the player with the highest total of three star selections over the course of the year (first star = three points, second star = two points, third star = one point). Backlund has been the Flames' top producing player this season, leading the team with 47 points through 66 games.

"It's cool. I'm very excited and honoured," Backlund said. "We have some really good players - look at Johnny, Mony, Gio - some very good players. Both of our goalies played great this year too. It's really cool to get this award when we have so many good players."

Hamilton was named this year's J.R. McCaig Award winner, which goes to a player and staff member who best exemplify McCaig's enduring virtues of respect, courtesy and compassion.

Since being acquired by the Flames in the summer of 2015, Hamilton has immersed himself in a wide variety of Flames Foundation initiatives. Every year, he spearheads a Halloween trip to the Alberta Children's Hospital to surprise kids. He acts as a spokesperson for the Reading ... Give It A Shot! program and connects with local minor hockey players through the Flames Foundation's Hockey Calgary Novice Partnership.

"How Mr. McCaig lived is (what) I strive for as well," Hamilton said. "Treat everyone the same and with courtesy, compassion and respect.

"Just to be recognized ... it's an honour."

Jodie Schreiner, who has been with the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Customer Service and Sales department for nine years, also received the J.R. McCaig Award. In addition to her exemplary work for CSEC, Schreiner has dedicated countless hours to Special Olympics Calgary, acting as a floor hockey coach for the last 10 years. 

Along with personally raising funds for her athletes programs to ensure they have the necessary resources to succeed, she guided her team to Gold at the 2015 Alberta Provincial Winter Games, followed by a Bronze medal at the 2016 National Special Olympics in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. In recognition of her efforts, she was named the 2016 Special Olympics Calgary Female Coach of the Year and Special Olympics Alberta Coach of the Year. Next month, Schreiner will be participating in the Sheraton Celebrity Dance-Off in Red Deer with all proceeds benefitting the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre and the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre.

"With Special Olympics ... bringing me to reality and perspective ... that's more rewarding than anything," Schreiner said.

"This is very overwhelming and such an honour."

Monahan was named this year's Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award winner, which goes to the player that exemplifies perseverance, determination and leadership on the ice, combined with dedication to community service off the ice. 

Since joining the Flames in 2013-14 season, Monahan has integrated himself into the community in a variety of ways. In addition to working with the Flames Foundation on a number of projects, Monahan also serves as an ambassador for the Southern Alberta Ronald McDonald House. He makes regular visits to the House to take part in a wide range of activities, donate tickets to families and host them in the Flames dressing room following the game. 

Monahan has also joined the likes of Bo-Levi Mitchell and Hayley Wickenheiser in being Every Day All-Stars in support of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary "All-Star Campaign" which was created to ensure more children are matched with a mentor. 

In addition to aligning with local charities, Monahan has personally connected with children he has met through his charitable work. This past fall, Monahan met 9 year old Mason Rodriguez who was recognized at the 2016 Flames Celebrity Charity Golf Classic for his bravery in beating Stage 4 Burkitt's Lymphoma. Since then, Mason and his family have developed a close friendship with the Flames forward that includes attending games on the forwards behalf, post-game visits in the dressing room and inviting Monahan and his girlfriend Brittany to watch Mason and his brother Bennett's minor hockey games. 

"It means a lot. Doing that kind of stuff in the community and giving back, it's always nice to do," Monahan told CalgaryFlames.com. "To get recognized for it, it's pretty special but at the same time, that's something our organization does. A lot of guys take a lot of pride in that and it start with Gio. Since I came in here as an 18-year-old, I've been following his lead."

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