Mark Messier Leadership Award - NHL Exemplary Leadership Award

Mark Messier Leadership Award – NHL Exemplary Leadership Award

There are performance-based honors in the NHL in addition to accolades and trophies for a player’s statistics. Similar to the Mark Messier Leadership Award, these awards have distinct criteria that they consider before naming a winner.

The Mark Messier Award is given to the athlete who best exemplifies leadership qualities and good behavior both on and off the ice. Let’s look at the background of the NHL award and a few things that set it apart from other NHL honors before moving on.

History Of The Mark Messier Leadership Award

History Of The Mark Messier Leadership Award

One of the most recent accolades in the NHL is the Mark Messier Award. Initially, it was first awarded during the NHL season in 2006–07. Mark John Douglas Messier’s outstanding leadership qualities inspired the award’s creation.

As a brilliant player and outstanding leader who won Stanley Cups with the New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers, Mark Messier is a legendary member of the NHL’s Hall of Fame. He is the only player in NHL history to captain two different NHL teams to Stanley Cup victories. Messiah, as he is often called, after leading the Edmonton Oilers New to numerous Stanley wins led the York Rangers to their first championship in 54 years.

In the course of a 25-year career, Mark Messier won six Stanley Cups. With the Edmonton Oilers, he won five Stanley Cups, and the New York Rangers were the team that he won his final one with. Both the Edmonton Oilers and the New York Rangers retired his jersey number after he retired.

Read more on, Why No One Can Wear The No.99 In Ice Hockey

The NHL created the Mark Messier Leader Award to recognize his unmatched leadership in the league. Since its debut in the 2006–07 season, it has been presented 17 times; the 2022–23 season will be the final presentation.

About The Mark Messier Award

About The Mark Messier Award

The Mark Messier Leadership Award was first presented to athletes every month. After five months this custom was dropped, and it was henceforth given at the conclusion of the regular season.

When it was originally given out during these five months (the 2006–07 season), the winners included:

  • Brendan Shanahan – November 
  • Scott Niedermayer – December 
  • Sidney Crosby – January
  • Vincent Lecavalier – February 
  • Roberto Luongo – March

The Mark Messier Award stands out because of the unique process used to select the recipients. The NHLPA or the Hockey Writers Association cast votes to determine the recipients of many NHL trophies and accolades. But Mark Messier himself selects the recipients of the Mark Messier Leadership Award.

He is first given a list of candidates compiled from nominations made by fans, NHL teams, and even some league employees. He chooses the top three finalists and the person he thinks deserves to win the award once these suggestions are presented to him.

Mark Messier Award Winners

The Mark Messier Leadership Award has a small list of past recipients because it is one of the more recent medals and honors given out by the NHL. We will examine the NHL clubs with the most Mark Messier Awards, though, based on our record.

No player has received the award more than once due to the brief award history. Sidney Crosby, the only player who came close, won the prize in January when it was a monthly honor (during the 2006-07 season). Moreover, he received the honor again during the 2009–10 campaign.

NHL Teams With Most Mark Messier Leadership Awards

NHL Teams With Most Mark Messier Leadership Awards

The Mark Messier Award has only been won a maximum of two times by an NHL team. The teams who have won the award twice include: 

  • Los Angeles Kings
  • Boston Bruins
  • Calgary Flames 
  • Nashville Predators 

The first team to win the award twice is the Nashville Predators who won their first trophy during the 2015-16 season and their second during the 2018-19 season.

NHL Teams No. Of Mark Messier Leadership Award 
Tampa Bay Lightnings 1
Los Angeles Kings 2
Boston Bruins 2
Toronto Maple Leafs1
Calgary Flames 2
Nashville Predators 2
Vegas Golden Knight 1
Pittsburgh Penguins 1
Chicago Blackhawks 1
Columbus Blue Jackets 1
Ottawa Senators 1
Phoenix Coyotes  1
Detroit Red Wings1

Mark Messier Award By Year 

Mark Messier Award By Year 

Winner For The 2019-20 Season

Mark Giordano was named the 2019–20 season’s Mark Messier Award recipient. The Calgary Flames’ defenceman and star player for the 2019–20 campaign led the team to a successful campaign. First, the team qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs by placing fourth in their division, eighth in their conference, and nineteenth overall in the league. Unfortunately, they were eliminated from the playoffs in the round of 16.

Winner For The 2020-21 Season

Patrice Bergeron, the center and captain of the Boston Bruins, has been named the winner of the Mark Messier Award for the 2020–21 campaign. Patrice guided the Bruins to third place in their division and tenth place overall during the regular season of 21 to qualify for the NHL playoffs.

Under his direction, the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup in the round of 16 and advanced to the round of 8 before being defeated by the New York Islanders in six games.

Winner For The 2021-22 Season

Anže Kopitar won the Mark Messier Award during the 2021-22 season. The captain of the Los Angeles Kings had a fine moment with the LA Kings during the regular season, leading them to finish third in their division and sixth in their conference to make the playoffs. 

Winner For The 2022-23 Season

Steven Stamkos, the Center and captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning was the winner of the Mark Messier Leadership Award during the 2022-23 season. Under his leadership Lightning came out as third in their division, sixth in their conference, and 13th in the general league standing.

SeasonMark Messier Award Winner 
2019-20Mark Giordano
2020-21Patrice Bergeron
2021-22Anže Kopitar
2022-23Steven Stamkos

Facts About The Mark Messier Awards

Here are some facts that you may not have known about the Mark Messier Award.

  • The first regular season of the award was won by a defenseman names Chris Chelios
  • The closest player to winning the award twice is Sidney Crosby, winning the monthly award during the 2006-07 season, and the regular season award during the 2009-10 season
  • Only captains of NHL teams can win the Mark Messier Awards
  • Six centermen, five defensemen, and five right-wingers have won the award so far
  • The NHL position with the least amount of winners for the Messier Leadership Award is the left-wing position with just one winner
  • No goalie has won the Mark Messier Award to date
  • Of the 17 players to win the award, 4 have been inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame, 8 are still actively playing and 5 are neither active nor Hall of Fame inductees.


In order to be the leader (captain) of a squad of players in the NHL, a player must be logical, brilliant, and clear-headed in their choices and actions. They must also demonstrate excellent leadership that encourages players to push for improved games.

Last but not least, the criteria used to evaluate the captain nominees who have been recognized as potential Mark Messier Leadership Award winners are based only on their performance in regular-season contests. Gratitude for reading.

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