Mark Messier Leadership Award Finalists: Dustin Brown vs. Ryan Getzlaf vs. Jonathan Toews

Forwards Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings, Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks are the three finalists for the 2013-14 Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award For Excellence In Award-Worthy Leadership And Other Stuff That’s Sponsored By A Tire Company.

This award is given to “the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season”; you know, stuff that’s already covered by the Hart Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award and the NHL Foundation Player Award and various other postseason trinkets. But this one has 100 percent more Mark Messier.

Previous winners include Mats Sundin, Jarome Iginla, Sidney Crosby and current title holder Daniel Alfredsson, all of whom cherish this award as a thing they can put their Olympic gold medals on.

So who wins the Mark Messier Leadership Award, which allows the NHL Awards host time for a beverage and a wardrobe change during an extended ad break?

Why Dustin Brown Deserves The Messier Award

From the NHL:

Brown has spent his entire 10-year NHL career with the Kings, serving as their captain for the past six campaigns. Known for his physical style of play, he donates $50 per hit to a different charity each season. In 2012-13 and 2013-14, Brown selected Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit. Prior to that, he and his wife partnered with the nonprofit KaBOOM! to raise $70,000 and build a new playground in Carson, Calif., that now hosts more than 100 kids per day. The 29-year-old Ithaca, N.Y., native is a finalist for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award for the third time, having also been nominated the past two seasons.

Amazing that Brown hasn’t won yet, considering like Messier he’s a completely clean player than never tries to skirt the rules on hitting. 

Why Ryan Getzlaf Deserves The Messier Award

From the NHL:

Getzlaf enjoyed a banner year in 2013-14, scoring a career-high 31 goals and ranking second in the NHL with 87 points to lead the Ducks to their best season in franchise history. Anaheim’s captain since 2010-11, he also has taken leadership role off the ice, highlighted by the annual Getzlaf Golf Shootout. The third such event, hosted in September, raised more than $300,000 for CureDuchenne, a nonprofit that raises awareness and funds research for those suffering from the progressive muscle-wasting disease, which impacts one in every 3,500 boys. The 28-year-old Regina, Sask., native is a finalist for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award for the first time.

Also, he’s frequently playing in the shadow of his offensively talented teammate, something we’re sure Messier understands well.

Why Jonathan Toews Deserves The Messier Award

From NHL:

Toews has served as the captain of the Blackhawks since 2008-09, when he was just 20-years-old. While his leadership on the ice is undisputed, his work with various children’s charitable causes also makes him a role model in the community. Among those efforts, Toews volunteers to grant wishes through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, including a special skating session with 4-year-old Nicholas Skretkowski prior to the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Soldier Field. The 25-year-old Winnipeg native is a finalist for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award for the second time after finishing as a runner-up in 2012-13.

Also, his most charitable move: Leaving a few things for other people to win occasionally.

Who Wins The Mark Messier Leadership Award?

Who do you think?