Today the NHL announced that San Jose Sharks right wing Kurtis Gabriel, along with Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne and New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban, are the three finalists for the 2020‑21 King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which is presented "to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.
Gabriel is a steadfast advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. He uses his social media accounts to amplify messaging and educate fans and fellow players, while supporting LGBTQ+ causes by participating in events and having candid conversations.
He supported the local San Jose non-profit, the LGBTQ Youth Space, by donating a custom, game-worn skate to be auctioned by the Sharks Foundation. Featuring the colors of the Pride flag and the message "Love is Love," the item raised $1,600 in support of the non-profit.
Reflecting his interest in raising awareness for racial and social justice, Gabriel's second skate in the custom set, which features the messages "BLM" & "Hope, Empathy, Change," will be auctioned by the Sharks Foundation during its Juneteenth auction this summer, with proceeds going to a diversity-focused non-profit.
Gabriel has been an ongoing advocate for You Can Play, a non-profit working to ensure the safety and inclusion of all who participate in sports, including LGBTQ+ athletes, coaches and fans.
He also has supported the African American Community Service Agency, Las Lomitas Education Foundation, Housing Industry Foundation, San Jose Firefighters Burn Foundation, Girls on the Run Silicon Valley and the Sharks Foundation.
The 28-year-old recently appeared on the Sharks Teal For Change Podcast with Brock McGillis. Listen to part one and part two of the conversation.
Each NHL team nominated a player for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, with the three finalists and winner chosen by a committee of senior NHL executives led by Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.
The selection committee applies the following criteria in determining the finalists and winner:
- Clear and measurable positive impact on the community
- Investment of time and resources
- Commitment to a particular cause or community
- Commitment to the League's community initiatives
- Creativity of programming
- Use of influence; engagement of others
The winners of the 2021 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone will be revealed during the Stanley Cup Semifinals and Stanley Cup Final, with exact dates, format and times to be announced. The King Clancy Memorial Trophy winner will receive a $25,000 donation to benefit a charity or charities of his choice. The two runners-up each will receive a $5,000 donation to benefit a charity or charities of their choice.