MAY 18, 2021
COLUMBUS, OHIO – Columbus Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson has been named the club’s nominee for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, the Blue Jackets and National Hockey League announced today. The award is presented to “the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to his community.”
On the ice, Atkinson registered 15 goals and 19 assists for 34 points with four penalty minutes while playing in all 56 games during the 2020-21 campaign. He led the club in shorthanded goals (four), game-winning goals (two, tied) and shots (158) and finished second in goals and points (tied). This season, the Riverside, Connecticut native joined Rick Nash as the only players in franchise history to record 200 career goals, 400 career points and 600 career games played as he has registered 213-189-402, 146 penalty minutes and a +17 plus/minus rating in 627 career games over 10 seasons with the club.
Off the ice, Atkinson earned the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation Community MVP Award for the first time in 2020-21. Each season, in addition to joining his teammates for visits to Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Mid-Ohio Food Collective, the forward has hosted numerous meet-and-greets at Nationwide Arena with kids and families in need of distraction from challenging circumstances. The Atkinson family created the Force Network Fund (FNF), a patriotic tribute to the spirit of those who serve and protect our nation daily. Each year, the Force Network Fund hand selects 13 military and first responder charitable organizations to benefit. To date, Force Network Fund has donated $315,000 to support military and first responders. He also invested in youth hockey development in central Ohio through The Battery Hockey Academy, a skills academy, where he hosted Cam’s Carnival during the summer of 2019 and raised $10,000 to benefit Operation Military Kids of Ohio and The Fallen 15.
This past December, Cam and his wife, Natalie, adopted four local families who had loved ones preparing to leave for development over the holidays, purchasing gifts for the families, recording personal messages and having them delivered to the families by USO Ohio. During the Blue Jackets’ Military Appreciation Night, presented by Elk + Elk, in April 2021, Atkinson presented the USO Ohio with a check for $5,013 to help support sending military kids to summer camp through Operation Military Kids.
In addition, Atkinson organized a virtual Force Network Fund 5K race in June 2020, and with the help of 656 participants, including many of his teammates, raised $40,313 to benefit the local OhioHealth Foundation. The funds supported the hospital to procure a rapid-response COVID-19 testing device. Prior to the start of the season, Atkinson partnered with a local company to organize a toy drive and food delivery for patients and frontline workers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in December.
During the summer of 2020, Atkinson used his social media platforms to speak up about Black Lives Matter and made monetary donations to both NAACP Chapter of Columbus and The Conscious Kid Anti-Racist Children’s Book Education Fund. Also, with numerous local businesses devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Atkinson took action to help the R Bar in the Arena District, a local establishment that is near-and-dear to the hearts of many Blue Jackets fans. He joined Cameo and offered personalized videos with the money raised by the initiative donated directly to the R Bar to help cover operating costs so that the establishment could remain open.
All 31 nominees were selected by their respective NHL clubs. The winner will be selected by a committee of senior NHL executives led by Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. The King Clancy Memorial Trophy winner will receive a $25,000 donation to benefit a charity or charities of the winner’s choice and two runners-up will each receive a $5,000 donation to benefit a charity or charities of their choice.
COURTESY BLUE JACKETS COMMUNICATIONS