There are only 27 full-time captains in the 30-team NHL, but there are countless leaders throughout the league, and their leadership can be recognized in numerous ways, some not always easy to quantify.
The Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award presented by Bridgestone has been awarded since the 2006-07 season, and is presented "to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular-season."
The award is named after Mark Messier, one of the finest leaders in NHL history who was a six-time Stanley Cup champion and is one of three players to have captained three different teams. Nominees are solicited from fans, clubs and NHL personnel, but the selection of the three finalists and the ultimate winner is made by Messier himself. Previous winners of the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award presented by Bridgestone are Chris Chelios of Detroit (2006-07), Mats Sundin of Toronto (2007-08), Jarome Iginla of Calgary (2008-09) and Sidney Crosby of Pittsburgh (2009-10).
This year, the NHL is using an online site for voting to provide Messier with direct input from you and your fellow NHL fans about who is the NHL’s Ultimate Leader.
From now through April 10, NHL.com subscribers can vote on daily match-ups between two of the NHL’s acknowledged leaders, fueling a single-elimination bracket tournament that will result in one player being crowned the fan’s choice for the 2010-11 Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award presented by Bridgestone.
Vote today for your favorite Leader, by clicking HERE