NEW YORK -- Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson of the Arizona Coyotes, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers and left wing Jason Zucker of the Minnesota Wild are the finalists for the 2018-19 King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which is awarded "to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community," the National Hockey League announced today.
Each NHL club selected a King Clancy nominee, with the three finalists and winner chosen by a committee of senior NHL executives led by Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.
The selection committee applies the following criteria in determining the finalists and winner of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy:
- Clear and measurable positive impact on the community
- Investment of time and resources
- Commitment to a particular cause or community
- Commitment to the League's community initiatives (Hockey is for Everyone, Hockey Fights Cancer, Future Goals, Learn to Play, NHL Green, etc.)
- Creativity of programming
- Use of influence; engagement of others
The winner will be revealed on Wednesday, June 19, during the 2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The King Clancy Memorial Trophy winner will receive a $40,000 donation from the National Hockey League Foundation to benefit a charity or charities of his choice and the two runners-up will each receive a $5,000 donation from the National Hockey League Foundation to benefit a charity or charities of their choice.
Following are the finalists for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes
When Ekman-Larsson announced he had signed a long-term contract with Arizona last July, he made the announcement at the Boys & Girls Club because the organization is a huge part of what Arizona means to him. In July, he donated $125,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs' Virginia G. Piper Branch at Laguna Elementary School in Scottsdale and, for the past several years, has purchased a suite at Gila River Arena for kids to watch Coyotes games and meet him post-game. He's spent time visiting clubs, attended their gala -- in which he bid on auction items and allowed B&GC to auction off an experience with him -- and served as a judge for the B&GC youth of the year program. The first-year Coyotes captain also was active in the club's Hockey Talks program for mental health awareness, participated in several club initiatives in support of Hockey Fights Cancer, served as the team's Hockey is for Everyone ambassador and supported Playworks in an anti-bullying campaign by sharing the message that "Real Players Don't Bully."
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Through the fundraising efforts and community outreach of the Henrik Lundqvist Foundation (HLF), the charitable organization he founded in 2014 with his wife, Therese, Henrik Lundqvist continues to improve the lives of children and adults throughout the world through education and health services. The four HLF community partners - New York Presbyterian Children's Hospital, Ronald McDonald Barnfond in Sweden, Together for Better and Garden of Dreams Foundation -- and HLF's own program, the HLF Young Ambassador Program -- all were recipients of Foundation donations in 2018-19. To date, HLF has directly given grants and made commitments of nearly $1 million supporting children's health and education. Lundqvist serves as a spokesperson for Garden of Dreams, visits with children and their families from Garden of Dreams partner organizations in "Henrik's Crease" for Rangers games at Madison Square Garden and supports the Rangers' Hockey Fights Cancer and Hockey is for Everyone initiatives.
Jason Zucker, Minnesota Wild
This season Zucker and his wife, Carly, saw the realization of a commitment begun in 2017: the Zucker Family Suite and Broadcast Studio at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital in Minneapolis, growing out of the couple's special relationship with the hospital and its patients. The space, which opened on March 25, 2019, allows children and their families to watch Wild games in a setting that simulates the experience of being at the game itself. It also serves as a state-of-the-art broadcast studio. Through several GIVE16 fundraising campaigns, so-named to encourage others to donate in forms of Jason's jersey number, the Zuckers and the community came together to raise nearly $1.2 million for the space. Jason partnered with St. Paul clothing brand UNRL to co-design 16 custom hats inspired by GIVE16, unveiling a new hat design for each of the final 16 games of the season, and also designed a Pride-inspired hat for sale by the team's online retailer. He served as an ambassador for Hockey is For Everyone and played a large role in promoting the Wild's Hockey is for Everyone night.
The trophy was presented in 1988 by the National Hockey League Board of Governors in honor of Frank "King" Clancy, a beloved figure in the NHL for decades as a player, referee, coach, manager and goodwill ambassador. A three-time Stanley Cup champion and 1958 inductee to the Hockey Hall of Fame, Clancy was voted as one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players during the League's Centennial Celebration in 2017.
The three finalists for NHL Trophies are being announced by NBC Sports in the United States and Sportsnet/TVA Sports in Canada during pregame programming for the Stanley Cup Playoffs through Sunday, April 28. The series of announcements continues on Wednesday, April 24, when the three finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award and Willie O'Ree Community Hero Award will be unveiled.
2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone
The NHL Awards™ returns to Las Vegas this summer at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The 2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone will be held Wednesday, June 19, at Mandalay Bay Events Center. It marks the first year that the NHL Awards™ will be held at the resort's sports and entertainment venue as well as the first time that Bridgestone will serve as the presenting sponsor of the event. NBCSN and Sportsnet will broadcast the 2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone live in the United States and Canada, respectively, at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
Tickets to the 2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone are on sale to the general public at www.nhl.com/awardstickets. This ticket opportunity is available on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last.
This will be the 11th year of a successful partnership between Las Vegas and the League and the 10th time that the NHL will honor the best hockey players in the world and the top performances of the season in Las Vegas. Prior Las Vegas venues that have hosted the NHL Awards™ include Palms Hotel (2009-11); Encore at Wynn Las Vegas (2012 and 2014); MGM Grand Garden Arena (2015); The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (2016 and 2018); and T Mobile Arena (2017).
A full lineup of presenters and entertainment will be announced at a future date. Fans can tweet about the event using the official hashtag #NHLAwards.