NEW YORK -- Defenseman Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks, defenseman Mark Giordano of the Calgary Flames and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers are the three finalists for the 2014-15 NHL Foundation Player Award, which is presented to "an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey -- commitment, perseverance and teamwork -- to enrich the lives of people in his community," the National Hockey League announced today.
NHL clubs submitted nominations for the NHL Foundation Player Award and the finalists were selected by a judging panel. The NHL Foundation will present $25,000 to the chosen charitable organization of this year's recipient. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 24, during the 2015 NHL Awards from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Following are the finalists for the NHL Foundation Player Award, in alphabetical order:
Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks
Known as a fun-loving individual both on and off the ice, Burns is heralded for his passion for giving back to the game and fans who have treated him so well. Over the past nine years, he and his family have supported several military organizations, including Defending the Blue Line, Operation: Care and Comfort, and Folds of Honor. In addition to his support of the service sector, Burns has established "Burnzie's Buzzcut" -- a fundraiser in which he and his teammates shave their heads to raise money and awareness for charities such as the San Francisco Zoo and Katie Moore Foundation, in support of close friend and former teammate Dominic Moore.
Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames
The Flames' captain has demonstrated a strong commitment off the ice throughout his tenure in Calgary. In 2011, Giordano and his wife launched "5-for-5," a community program -- in partnership with Habitat for Humanity -- in which they donated $25,000 for three seasons to help build five homes in five countries (including Kenya, Ethiopia, India and the Philippines). He also created Team Giordano in the fall, donating $100,000 to provide resources and support for three Calgary schools. Beyond these personal endeavors, Giordano continues to participate in various team initiatives, including visits to Ronald McDonald House and Alberta Children's Hospital.
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Lundqvist's on-ice performance has only been matched by his passion for helping those in need. His efforts have included generating awareness, raising funds and increasing the impact of 28 nonprofit charities he supports through a pair of organizations -- the Henrik Lundqvist Foundation and the Garden of Dreams Foundation, the latter of which he has served as a spokesman for since 2009. Lundqvist also has dedicated time and raised funds for various other causes, including fighting hunger, curing pediatric cancers, improving access to quality education, and aiding children and families in need.
NHL players have a longstanding tradition of supporting charities and other important causes in their communities. NHL member clubs are constant in their quest to help local schools, hospitals and charitable organizations. Clubs submit nominations for the NHL Foundation Player Award and the finalists are selected by a judging panel. This award was first presented in 1998.
The three finalists for NHL trophies are being announced by NBCSN in the United States and Sportsnet/TVA in Canada on Stanley Cup Playoff broadcasts through May 6, during pregame programming from 6:30 -- 7:00 p.m. ET. The series of announcements continues on Monday, May 4, when the three finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award presented by Bridgestone will be unveiled.
IMG will produce the 2015 NHL Awards, under the direction of executive producer Steve Mayer.
A full lineup of presenters and entertainment as well as information on broadcasting and tickets and hospitality and travel packages through PrimeSport will be announced at a future date. In what has become an annual tradition, EA SPORTS will unveil the Cover Athlete for the upcoming launch of NHL 16. In addition, fans can enter for a chance to win a trip to the 2015 NHL Awards at www.NHL.com/Vegas and tweet about the event using the official hashtag #NHLAwards.