Nick Foligno of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Mark Giordano of the Calgary Flames and Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks have been named finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award. The award is given annually to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to the team, on and off the ice, during the regular season.
The winner will be announced at the 2017 NHL Awards at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on June 21 (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN).
Messier solicited suggestions from club and League personnel and fans, but the former Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks captain makes the final selection of the three finalists and the winner.
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Foligno, 29, was named the sixth Blue Jackets captain on May 20, 2015. He had 51 points (26 goals, 25 assists) in 79 games to help Columbus qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time in the past eight seasons. It marked the second-highest point total in a career that spans 10 seasons; he had 73 points (31 goals, 42 assists) in 2014-15. Foligno and his wife, Janelle, donated $500,000 to Children's Hospital in Boston in November as a symbol of their gratitude for the life-saving heart surgery their newborn daughter Milana received at the hospital in November 2013. A donation of $500,000 was also made on behalf of Milana to Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus.
Giordano, 33, has been Flames captain since 2013. The defenseman had 39 points (12 goals, 27 assists) in 81 games, and established a career-high with two shorthanded goals and four game-winning goals. He received the NHL Foundation Player Award in June 2016, an honor given to a player who applies the core values of hockey, including commitment, perseverance and teamwork, to enrich the lives of people in his community. He and his wife, Lauren, launched Team Giordano in 2014, an initiative that has impacted 1,400 students at four high-need schools in Calgary. Team Giordano has provided $200,000 in funding for school upgrades, technology, field trips and sports equipment.
Getzlaf, 31, who has served as Ducks captain since 2010-11, ranked third in the NHL with 58 assists and was 13th with 73 points in 74 games. His 814 career points rank second in Ducks history. He scored 60-plus points for the fourth straight season, including 70-plus points three times in that span. Getzlaf and his wife, Paige, have hosted the Getzlaf Golf Shootout the past seven years to benefit children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Duchenne is a fatal muscle-wasting disease that affects 300,000 children worldwide. The goal of the event is to raise and make available life-saving drugs to help this generation of Duchenne patients.