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Mark Messier Leadership Award

Bergeron of Bruins wins Messier NHL Leadership Award

Center honored for leading role in community growing game of hockey

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

Bergeron wins Messier Award

Patrice Bergeron wins Mark Messier Leadership Award

Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron wins the Mark Messier Leadership Award for leading by example on the ice and in the community

  • 02:58 •

Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins won the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award on Wednesday, presented to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities on and off the ice and who plays a leading role in his community growing the game of hockey.

"It's a huge honor," the Bruins captain said. "Obviously there's more than just X's and O's and playing the game of hockey. It's about the community and what impact you can bring to people and obviously to your team, but also beyond that and to grow the game of hockey."

Bergeron attended the unveiling of the Willie O'Ree Community Street Hockey Rink in 2018 and helped present a $250,000 donation for the refurbishment of other street hockey rinks across Boston. He began the Patrice's Pals program in 2006, which provides a VIP experience for young patients from Boston-area hospitals and hockey fans from children's organizations to attend Bruins games. MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Tufts Children's Hospital, SCORE Boston Hockey (which provides inner-city youth the opportunity to participate in hockey), and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America are among the groups that have participated in the initiative.

 

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Bergeron won the NHL Foundation Player Award in 2013-14, which was given to the NHL player who best demonstrated commitment, perseverance and teamwork to enrich the lives of people in his community. The award was discontinued for the 2017-18 season. He also won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2012-13, awarded to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to his community.

Messier, a Hockey Hall of Famer, solicits suggestions from team and NHL personnel to compile a list of candidates for the award before selecting a winner.

"I'm accepting this award on behalf of our entire team and organization," Bergeron said. "Personally I've always believed in leading by committee and letting others grow into leaders of their own, so I want to especially thank Brad [Marchand] and David [Pastrnak] and the rest of our leadership group for all that they've done to help make the Bruins such a special team to play for."

Bergeron was second on the Bruins with 48 points (23 goals, 25 assists) in 54 games, behind Marchand (69 points; 29 goals, 40 assists). The center has scored 917 points (375 goals, 542 assists) in 1,143 regular-season games during 17 NHL seasons, all with the Bruins. He has won the Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL four times and has been a finalist each of the past 10 seasons; he was second to Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers this season.

He has scored 120 points (46 goals, 74 assists) in 160 Stanley Cup Playoff games, and helped the Bruins win the Stanley Cup in 2011.

Bergeron has other community initiatives, including the Pucks and Paddles Ping Pong Tournament, an annual event he founded in 2018 that raises money for Tufts Children's Hospital; makes yearly hospital visits and holiday toy shopping; and has made $25,000 donations to the NAACP Boston Branch and the Centre multiethnique de Quebec in 2020 to support activism within the Black community.

"I've been so fortunate to be able to learn from great leaders before me and this award is also a testament to them and the culture that they have created here," Bergeron said. "I also want to thank the people in New England and our fans. I've gotten to meet some extraordinary people and some incredibly strong kids over the years who have taught me a lot about strength and perseverance, resiliency, and they truly embody what this award is all about."

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