The latest award to have its finalists unveiled is the Mark Messier Leadership award, a relatively new honor in the NHL.
Messier is heavily involved in the award that bears his name, soliciting suggestions from people with clubs, the league and fans but he makes the decisions for the top three and the winner. His top three for the 2013-14 season: Jonathan Toews of the Blackhawks, Dustin Brown of the Kings and Ryan Getzlaf of the Ducks.
Toews has been the captain of the Blackhawks since he was just 20 years old. Tuesday marks his 26th birthday, so happy birthday, Jonathan. This is the second time Toews has been a finalist for the award, also being up for the honor last season. Included in the description of why Toews was chosen as a finalist was his involvement with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, granting one wish at the Stadium Series earlier this series in this great scene.
Brown is a finalist for the award for a third straight season. The Kings captain for the past six years, Brown is definitely not a favorite among other teams and fan bases with his borderline play (ask Tomas Hertl and the Sharks how they feel about Brown). But he's effective and wears the C for a reason. Moreover, Brown donates $50 per hit he delivers every season to a charity, the last two years to the Children's Hospital Los Angeles' Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit. Considering Brown is a very physical player, that adds up quickly.
Getzlaf is going to be up for a couple of awards, the Leadership Award included. He was second in the league this season with 87 points, leading the Ducks both in play and as their captain. He is also the host of the annual Getzlaf Golf Shootout, which had its third outing in September. That event raised more than $300,000 for CureDuchenne, an organization dedicated to raising awareness and funding research for the muscle-wasting disease. This is his first time as a finalist.
In the past, Messier has announced the winner during the Stanley Cup Final but now the award will be handed out with all the others at the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas on June 24.