While the Los Angeles Kings are on a mission on the ice, they did receive some good news on Tuesday as it was announced that captain Dustin Brown would be a finalist for this year's Mark Messier Leadership Award. Along with Brown, both Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks have also been nominated. This is Brown's third nomination in as many years and his fans certainly hope that the third time will be the charm.
The Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, which was first presented during the 2006-07 season, is annually awarded to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season.
While his captaincy has come into question multiple times not only this season but in seasons past, no one can possibly argue what Dustin Brown contributes off the ice.
In this his sixth year wearing the 'C' for the Kings, Brown, a physical player, has donated $50 per hit to a different charity this season. For 2013-14, the 29-year-old chose Children's Hospital Los Angeles' Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit. With his team-leading 246 hits this season, Brown's donation this campaign adds up to a total of $12,300.
Last season, Brown and his wife chose to donate to the non-profit organization, KaBOOM! where they raised $70,000 and built a new playground in nearby Carson, California. Because of the Los Angeles captain's generous donation, the playground hosts at least 100 kids per day.
Some of us may not understand why Dustin Brown wears the 'C' when he's practically unseen or unheard of on the ice but it is stories like these that make up Brown's periodic scoring slumps.
It sure was gracious of the National Hockey League to recognize Dustin Brown so much the last two seasons as to nominate him for the Mark Messier Leadership Award. However, this year, it would admittedly be better to see the Kings captain win the award.