San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns is being recognized again for his charitable work off the ice.
ESPN named Burns a finalist for the Sports Humanitarian of the Year Award on Thursday. Joining Burns as nominees are Tina Charles of the WNBA's New York Liberty, Carlos Dunlap of the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals and Chris Paul of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers.
Influenced by his grandfather's service during WWII, Burns has worked tirelessly with United Heroes League, formerly known as Defending the Blue Line, an organization dedicated to ensuring military members are healthy and active through sports, since 2009. Dubbed "Burnzie's Battalion," Burns has donated more than $1.2 million in suite tickets to United Heroes League, regularly meets with veteran and active duty military members and has donated thousands of pieces of hockey equipment to military families. Burns also partners with Folds of Honor to provide scholarships to family members of injured and deceased military personnel.
The winner of the Sports Humanitarian of the Year Award will be announced during a ceremony July 12 in Los Angeles, and will receive a $100,000 grant from ESPN to their qualified charity. The other finalists will receive $25,000 grants.
All proceeds of the awards show will benefit the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund at The V Foundation.
Last season, Burns was the recipient of the 2014-15 NHL Foundation Player Award, recognizing a player who applies the core values of hockey, commitment, perseverance and teamwork, to enrich the lives of people in his community.
Burns, who led the Sharks to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final for the first time, is also a finalist for the Norris Trophy, awarded by the NHL to the defenseman who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-around ability at the position. He had 27 goals and 48 assists during the regular season and 24 points (seven goals, 17 assists) in 24 games in the playoffs.
The winner will be announced at the 2016 NHL Awards in Las Vegas on June 22.