Zetterberg, Toews, Burns honored for leadership, charitable efforts

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There’s a lot of hardware handed out during the league’s award ceremony and while some of the awards don’t capture as many headlines, they recognize important aspects and ideals of the NHL.

The King Clancy Trophy for example honors players who exemplifies leadership and makes humanitarian contributions. This year it was given to Henrik Zetterberg, who captained the Red Wings to their 24th consecutive playoff berth. Off the ice, Zetterberg has dedicated himself to his charitable efforts, both in Detroit and internationally. One example is Chige Primary School, which he and his wife built. It allows 225 children in Kemba to get an education and its success led to the construction of the Belta Telo Middle School for 700 students.

Mark Messier’s award similarly honors leadership and this year it was presented to Chicago’s Jonathan Toews. The Blackhawks captain is just 27 years old, but under his leadership Chicago has won the Stanley Cup three times in the last six years.

The NHL Foundation Player Award, which Zetterberg has also won in the past, highlights players who go above and beyond in their charitable efforts. This year it honored Sharks defenseman Brent Burns and presented him with $25,000 to donate to the charities of his choice. Burns is splitting the money between Defending the Blue Line, which provides things like hockey equipment and game tickets to the children of military families, and Folds of Honor, which gives educational scholarships to family members of military personnel that have been injured or killed in the line of duty.