The award 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.”
Subban donated $500,000 to a fundraiser for the daughter of George Floyd, a man whose killing at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department ignited worldwide protests regarding racial injustice and police brutality.
Additionally, Subban continued work through his foundation, which aims to create positive change for children around the globe. Among those efforts is the Blueline Buddies program, which brings local police and youth together to attend NHL games (and meet Subban afterward). Subban’s foundation also hosts a weeklong fundraiser called “PKSFWEEKMTL,” which generated more than $500,000 in 2019 and is set to again take place in August.
Dumba, in response to social unrest in North America and hockey’s reckoning with its longstanding issues with racism, co-founded the Hockey Diversity Alliance, which aims to eradicate systemic racism and intolerance in hockey. During the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers, Dumba delivered a powerful message on the topic at centre ice in Edmonton before becoming the first NHL player to kneel during the national anthem.
Additionally, Dumba took a lead role with the Rebuild Minnesota initiative, assisting Minneapolis businesses impacted by riots and protests in the wake of Floyd’s killing. Dumba also supported more than 60 families through Athletes Committed to Educating Students, made a Hockey Fights Cancer tribute for a close family friend and donated to wildfire relief efforts in Australia.
Lundqvist and his wife, Therese, have raised more than $3.2 million since the inception of his foundation in 2014. Along the way, they’ve supported Together for Better, New York Presbyterian Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald Barnford (in Sweden), the Garden of Dreams Foundation and the foundation’s own young ambassador program. Lundqvist helped the GDF raise $650,000 in 2019-20 alone.
Additionally, Lundqvist auctioned off a game-worn mask as part of the All In Challenge for COVID-19 relief and donated $100,000 to New Yorkers in need, providing the value of approximately 68,000 meals and aiding 8,000 children and families.
Each team nominated one player, after which the finalists and winner are voted on by a committee of senior executives led by commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly.
The 2020 NHL Awards, initially scheduled for June 18 in Las Vegas, were postponed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and have not yet been rescheduled for a specific date.