The revealing of some of the end-of-season award winners continued today as the league announced that Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is the winner of the 2020-21 Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award. The award is given “to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season and who plays a leading role in his community growing the game of hockey”.
Unlike most of the other awards which are voted on by members of the media, this process is a little different. Messier solicits suggestions from teams and NHL personnel to come up with a shortlist and then selects the winner. Messier, a 2007 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame, is viewed as one of the more prominent leaders in league history with the NHL creating this award just three years after his retirement in 2004.
Bergeron was named captain of the Bruins for this season after long-time captain Zdeno Chara (the 2011 winner of this award) wasn’t re-signed. The 35-year-old has been a fixture in their lineup for the past 17 years, becoming a premier two-way center while earning four Selke Trophies in the process. Bergeron has also won the NHL Foundation Player Award (2013-14) and King Clancy Memorial Trophy (2012-13).
A total of 15 players have won the award – a full list of winners can be found here.