Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown is the recipient of the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award presented by Bridgestone, which is awarded to a player "in recognition of his commitment and service to charities in his community." The award recognizes an individual as a superior leader in hockey and as a contributing member of society. It honors an individual who leads by positive example through on-ice performance, motivation of team members and dedication to community activities and charitable causes.
Messier solicits suggestions from club and League personnel and NHL fans in compiling a list of potential candidates. Selection of the three finalists and the ultimate winner is Messier's alone. Other finalists for this year's honor were Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Brown has spent his entire 10-year NHL career with the Kings, serving as their captain for the past six campaigns. Known for his physical style of play, he donates $50 per hit to a different charity each season. In 2012-13 and 2013-14, Brown selected Children's Hospital Los Angeles' Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit. Prior to that, he and his wife partnered with the nonprofit KaBOOM! to raise $70,000 and build a new playground in Carson, Calif., that now hosts more than 100 kids per day.