NEW YORK (June 23, 2021) – Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron is the 2020-21 recipient of the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, which is presented “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.”
Messier solicits suggestions from team and League personnel to compile a list of potential candidates for the award. However, the selection of the winner is Messier’s alone.
Bergeron, who was named the 20th captain in team history prior to the start of 2020-21, recorded 23-25—48 in 54 games to guide the Bruins to their fifth consecutive playoff berth and 13th postseason appearance in his 17 NHL campaigns.
A pillar in the community throughout his NHL tenure, Bergeron has taken an active role in various initiatives to both grow the game of hockey and distinguish himself as a leader. In 2018, he attended the unveiling of the Willie O’Ree Community Street Hockey Rink and helped present a $250,000 check for the refurbishment of other street hockey rinks across Boston. Bergeron also began his Patrice’s Pals program in 2006, which was designed to provide a VIP experience for young patients from local hospitals and hockey fans from children’s organizations to attend Bruins games. Tufts Children’s Hospital, SCORE Boston Hockey (which provides inner-city youth the opportunity to participate in hockey), MassGeneral Hospital for Children, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America are among the groups that have participated to date.
The 35-year-old L’Ancienne-Lorette, Que., native – who also has won the Frank J. Selke Trophy (4x, most recently in 2016-17), NHL Foundation Player Award (2013-14) and King Clancy Memorial Trophy (2012-13) – has many other community initiatives among his lengthy résumé. These include the Pucks & Paddles Ping-Pong Tournament, an annual event Bergeron spearheaded in 2018 that focuses on raising money for Tufts Children’s Hospital; yearly holiday toy shopping and local hospital visits; and $25,000 donations to both the NAACP Boston Branch and Centre multiethnique de Quebec in 2020 to support activism and allyship with the Black community.
For more on the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, including a list of past winners, click here.