I've learned from a lot of good people throughout my life and I've had a lot role models. You just try do the best you can do and the best person you can be. It's nice to be recognized for that and it's a great honour to receive this award. - Matt Stajan
CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames J.R. McCaig Award is annually given to a player who exemplifies the virtues of respect, courtesy and compassion and it's not hard to see why pivot Matt Stajan is the recipient of this year's award.
The 30-year-old is a highly respected leader within the Flames locker room and is dedicated to his community. He has worked with a multitude of charities during his tenure with the Flames and continues to work with various initiatives throughout Calgary.
After being dealt to the Flames in the 2009-10 campaign, he immediately aligned himself with the Alberta Children’s Hospital, taking over responsibilities as the Flames Ambassador for the hospital.
He personally donates season tickets each year to the Alberta Children's to give patients, family members, and hospital volunteers the opportunity to attend Flames games. He has also visits the hospital on multiple occasions with his wife Katie, where both actively volunteer with bingo nights and with their annual radio-a-thon.
Stajan has also been involved with the Ronald McDonald House and is active in assisting with various community relations events and the Flames Foundation for Life.
"I means a lot [to receive this award]," Stajan said. "I think any time you get recognized by your peers, the people you come to the rink with every day, and people in the whole organization, it means something. As a player, you try to come to the rink and give it your all every day.
"Off the ice, I just try to be a good person. This whole organization has been great from day one and we know we're all in this together, working together to try and accomplish something. I'm just trying to be a part of it."
In a locker room full of rookies, Stajan feels it is crucial for the veterans to lead by example, both on the ice and with their community involvement. By seeing an older player dedicate his time to the city, young players are able to see why it is imperative to stay involved in the community.
"I think it's very important. I just try and be myself every day. I think that's all you try and do. You come to the rink, you come to work hard, and you be a good person.
"I've learned from a lot of good people throughout my life and I've had a lot role models. You just try do the best you can do and the best person you can be. It's nice to be recognized for that and it's a great honour to receive this award."