In an announcement fit for the longest serving captain in the NHL, Daniel Alfredsson
was named the winner of the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award today.
The honour is his second leadership-based award in two years after he captured the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2012.
The Messier Award is handed out to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular season. It’s easy to see why Alfredsson took home the honour in 2013.
It’s no secret to anyone who has followed his career that Alfredsson has come to embody leadership in the NHL. Not only is he, as I mentioned, the most tenured captain in the NHL, he is also the Sens leader in almost every meaningful statistical category including, among others, goals, assists and points.
He was instrumental this season in helping guide the Sens to a playoff berth and first round upset over the Montreal Canadiens, receiving praise from his teammates for both his play and steadying influence in the locker room. He was one of 11 Senators players to play over 40 games this season and finished second on the team in scoring with 26 points.
Off the ice, Alfredsson has become a direct tie between the Senators and the City of Ottawa, working with the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health as well as the Sens Foundation.
Alfredsson has bought tickets and suites for Boys and Girls Club members over the last 10 years and plays an active role in their “Ringside for Youth” fundraising event. He is also a passionate advocate to reduce mental health stigma and has been the Royal’s spokesperson for their "You Know Who I Am" campaign since 2008, in addition to work with their “Do it for Daron” initiative. He has also been involved in the “You Can Play” project aimed at eliminating homophobia from sport.
Alfredsson beat out Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown and Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews to capture the award. He is the third captain of a Canadian team (Jarome Iginla, Calgary, 2009; Mats Sundin, Toronto, 2008) and second player from Sweden (Sundin) to win the award.
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