The Toronto Maple Leafs nominated Luke Schenn
for the 2011 King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which is 'awarded to the player that best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy contribution in his community.'
Since his rookie season in 2008, Luke Schenn
has been an active participant in all Leaf charitable outreach initiatives. He is dedicated to supporting the Canadian Forces, and spends countless hours bringing joy and enlightening youth through clinics and public appearances in the Greater Toronto Area.
Schenn started the program 'Luke's Troops' in 2008-09, and took the initiative to a whole new level this season. Through this project, he welcomes a member of the Canadian Armed Forces that has served overseas. Schenn provides a pair of tickets to a game, food and beverage, and a jersey to all of his guests; an annual commitment of more than $15,000. The Forces members are selected from many of the bases within Toronto and the surrounding area. To date, Schenn has hosted almost 100 soldiers and their guests, including over 40 this season alone. A line of Luke's Troops attire was launched at Real Sports Apparel this past February. In less than two months, over $16,000 has been raised for the Military Families Fund.
This year, Schenn was presented with a Canadian Forces jersey and Canada Flag from the Chief of Defence himself following the Leafs' Fifth Annual Canadian Forces Night. The presentation was made in front of the entire team and close to 400 members of the Canadian Forces.
The Maple Leafs teamed up with Esquire this season to recognize one player every month for their outstanding work in the community and commitment to being a positive representative of t
he team off the ice. Schenn was named the Esquire Community MVP for November for his contributions to a Hockey Development Clinic for over 50 youth. He participated as guest instructor and worked on-ice with a variety of kids aged 7-13 for an entire day. These clinics give kids the unique opportunity to receive instruction from Toronto Maple Leafs players, coaches and Hockey Development staff during one-day training sessions.
In partnership with the Canadian Forces and Sick Kids, Schenn participated in Operation HOHOHO for the second consecutive year. He and three teammates spent over an hour at Sick Kids Hospital reading holiday stories, distributing Leaf Holiday stockings stuffed with gifts, and even participated in singing a rousing rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” with approximately 100 kids in attendance. The event was also broadcast live to 300 rooms at Sick Kids for the patients who were unable to attend.
Schenn was the Maple Leafs' leader in community appearances this season, visiting and signing autographs for children at numerous events. He met over 60 kids from Camp Trillium on their awareness night, participated in MasterCard Centre's Community Day and Open House, Molson's Community Day to raise money for United Way, and even surprised a girl's team that rented the ice at Air Canada Centre.
Schenn conducted an interview at Real Sports Bar and Grill for the online community and Leafs TV, and made an appearance at MLSE's annual company meeting to acknowledge community achievements of employees. He was also an active participant in all of the Leafs' full team events, including the Leafs and Legends Charity Golf Classic, Have a Heart Dinner, Outdoor Practice, Sick Kids hospital visit at Christmas and One4One.
Schenn continues to be an athlete ambassador for the Right to Play charity. He lends his time to various Right to Play initiatives, including press conferences to raise awareness and school visits. Right to Play improves the lives of impoverished children around the world through play.
On the ice, Schenn played in all 82 games for the Maple Leafs this season, making his community contributions that much more remarkable. He collected 22 points (5 goals, 17 assists) and 34 penalty minutes, while leading all NHL defencemen and ranking eighth overall in hits (251). Schenn also led the Maple Leafs in blocked shots this season with 168, and was the only player in the NHL to have over 250 hits and at least 150 blocked shots this season. He has now led the Maple Leafs in hits in three consecutive seasons, posting 206 hits in his rookie campaign (2008-09) and 173 hits last season (2009-10). In 231 career NHL games, Schenn has collected 53 points (12 goals, 41 assists) along with 155 penalty minutes.
Schenn has established himself as one of the key participants with MLSE's charitable events. Whether he's serving dinner at the Have a Heart gala event to help raise $20,000 for MLSE's Team Up Foundation, or skating with disabled children at the annual Easter Seals Skate, Schenn‟s leadership on and off the ice is rapidly turning him into a fan favourite in Toronto.