The Mark Messier Leadership Award Finalists were announced on Thursday as Nick Foligno of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and Mark Giordano, of the Calgary Flames were voted as the top three finalists.
The Mark Messier Leadership Award presented to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities, to their team, both on and off the ice. Messier made his decision on the player best deserving of the award, based on suggestions from team and league personnel as well as the fans.
Foligno, became the sixth captain of the Blue Jackets last May. This past season, he put up 51 points (26 goals & 25 assists) in 79 games, as he helped lead his team to their second Stanley Cup Playoffs in eight seasons.
The 2016-2017 season, was his second highest scoring season, in his 10-year career. During the 2014-2015 season, he put up a career high 73 points (31 G & 42 A).
Along with his wife, Janelle, Foligno donated 500,000 dollars to Children’s Hospital in Boston, this past November. The donation was made as a symbol of gratitude to the life-saving heart surgery their young daughter, Milana, received at the hospital in 2013. He and his wife also donated 500,000 dollars to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus on Milana’s behalf as well.
Giordano, has been the Flames captain since 2013. The 33-year-old defenseman, scored 39 points (12 G & 27 A) in 81 games during the 2016-2017 season. He had a career high of two shorthanded goals and four game winners during the season too.
The defending Mark Messier Award winner, along with his wife, Lauren, launched Team Giordano in 2014. The initiative has impacted over 1,400 students in high-need schools in the Calgary area.
Team Giordano has donated 200,000 dollars in funding for school upgrades, technology, field trips and sports equipment.
Getzlaf, has worn the “C” for the Ducks since the 2010-2011 season. He is ranked third in the National Hockey League with 58 assists and 13th with 73 points in 74 games this past season.
His 814 career points ranks him second in Ducks history. He has put up 60 or more points in four straight seasons, three of those years with 70 or more.
For the past seven seasons, Getzlaf and his wife Paige, have hosted the Getzlaf Golf Shootout to benefit children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a fatal muscle-wasting disease that effects 300,000 children worldwide. The goal of the event is to help raise funds for life-saving drugs to help today’s generation of Duchenne patients.
The winner will be announced during the 2017 NHL Awards and Expansion Draft at the T-Mobile Arena, the home of the NHL’s 31st franchise. NBCSN in the United States and Sportsnet in Canada will televise the event on June 21 at 7:30 PM.