Penguins center Sidney Crosby
already has a shelf full of NHL awards: Art Ross (scoring champion), Hart (league MVP), Lester Pearson (best player as voted by his peers), Rocket Richard (goal-scoring champion) and a Stanley Cup title.
Now the Penguins captain could add another league trophy to his mantle at the tender age of 22.
Crosby was named one of three finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award. The award recognizes an individual as a superior leader in hockey and as a contributing member of society. It honors an individual who leads by positive example through on-ice performance, motivation of team members and a dedication to community activities and charitable causes.
The other nominees are Phoenix’s Shane Doan and Buffalo’s Ryan Miller. While soliciting information from many sources, the selection of the three finalists and the ultimate winner is Messier’s alone.
The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 23 during the 2010 NHL Awards that will be broadcast live from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas on VERSUS in the United States and on CBC in Canada.
Crosby, as has become his custom, completed another spectacular season for Pittsburgh. He led the NHL with 51 goals (tying Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos) and placed second in the league with 109 points.
On top of that, he scored the decisive goal in overtime to give Team Canada the gold medal in the 2010 Olympic hockey tournament.
While many are familiar with his on-ice accomplishments, Crosby also leads by example off the ice with his extensive charitable work within the community. In each of the past two seasons, he has teamed up with the Penguins and Dick’s Sporting Goods to introduce hockey to local youngsters by outfitting 600 area children (ages 5-7) from head to toe with free hockey gear through the Little Penguins “Learn to Play Hockey” program.
Crosby also purchased a suite for every Penguins' home game for the past three seasons that he uses to donate to various children's charities and underprivileged kids. He gives time generously during the season for Penguins’ related charitable causes including: the Make-A-Wish Foundation; Project Bundle-up; Penguins’ Charity practice and luncheon; several hospital visits and several postgame meet and greets for various charities. He also most recently established his own foundation that focus on youth charities (Sidney Crosby
The Cole Harbour native recently was honored by his home province with the Order of Nova Scotia for his community service, another first for someone his age.
Previous winners of the Messier Award are Jarome Iginla (2009), Mats Sundin (2008) and Chris Chelios (2007).
Messier, a six-time Stanley Cup champion and 16-time All-Star in his 25 NHL seasons, is widely viewed as one of the greatest sports leaders of all time. Among his numerous hockey and humanitarian honors, the naming of the Mark Messier Skyway at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey for his 15 years of dedication and commitment to help raise millions of dollars to benefit children with cancer and other serious blood disorders is one of the most special.