Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Nick Foligno, Anaheim Ducks centre Ryan Getzlaf and Calgary Flames defenceman Mark Giordano are the three finalists for the 2016-17 Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, the NHL announced on Thursday.
The award is presented “to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season.”
Messier receives suggestions for potential award candidates but decides the winner himself. The winner will be announced on June 20 at the NHL Humanitarian Awards while also being recognized at the NHL Awards on June 21.
Foligno led the Blue Jackets to their best season in franchise history in his second year as captain. Foligno and his wife Janelle committed $1 million split between Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital in support of pediatric congenital heart care in honour of their daughter, Milana. The 29-year-old Foligno also raised money for the Janis Foligno Foundation – created in memory of his late mother, who died from breast cancer in 2009.
Getzlaf led Anaheim to its fifth straight Pacific Division title and also became the first player in franchise history to lead the team in scoring for five consecutive seasons. Getzlaf, who has been the Ducks’ captain since 2010-11, continued his role with teammate Corey Perry with the Anaheim Ducks Learn to Play program, which they launched together in 2013 to provide equipment and classes for first-time hockey players ages 4-12.
The 31-year-old hosted his fifth annual golf tournament benefitting CureDuchenne, a nonprofit that raises awareness and funds for the progressive muscle-wasting disease. Getzlaf and his wife Paige have raised more than $1.675 million through the event.
Giordano has captained the Flames since 2013-14 and led them to their second post-season berth in the last three years. Giordano launched Team Giordano in 2014 with the Calgary Board of Education and has donated $300,000 to high-needs schools to promote improved physical fitness and academics.
The 33-year-old Toronto native also has been an ambassador for various team programs, including Reading…Give It a Shot! since 2006-07.