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2014 NHL Awards: Dustin Brown for the Win

June 24th, 2014 at 10:59 PM
By Suzanna Bezyan

Dustin Brown was an avid fan of Mark Messier growing up, and on Tuesday Brown was handed the Messier Award from Mark himself at the 2014 NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

Messier is one of the most respected captains in NHL history. His award is presented “to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular season,” and “the commitment and the passion that they show on the ice that’s the same thing they show off the ice.”

“Obviously, what they do on the ice for their own teams and their organizations, what they’re doing off the ice, as far as leadership in their communities, being approachable, looking after certain charities of their own and others’,” Messier explained.

Messier reaches out to fans, clubs and NHL personnel before determining the finalists and winner himself. “You look at all the awards, I think what’s really cool about this job in particular is Mark Messier has a big say in who wins it,” Brown said.

Brown, the Ithaca, New York native recollected, “Growing up, I watched the Oilers,” the Kings captain said. “Messier was always one of my favorite players, until he went to the Rangers, unfortunately. I was the anti-Ranger fan in New York.”

There’s a great amount of respect between the two as Brown has been a Mark Messier Leadership Award finalist for the second consecutive year (2013 and 2014), and of course, on Tuesday he became the 2014 winner.

“His commitment on the ice to play every shift like it’s his last, every game like his last, the way the team has performed over the last several years, taking a team that’s really rebuilt in becoming a powerhouse in the league, and then, of course, everything he does off the ice,” Messier said. “That combination is not rare, but it’s something that professional athletes have to pay attention to because the game itself is so demanding on your time emotionally that you really have to be focused to do what he does off the ice and make that big of an impact.”

Anze Kopitar who was nominated for the Selke Award, for best defensive forward, lost to Patrice Bergeron, and Dean Lombardi who was nominated for General Manager of the year lost to Bob Murray of the Anaheim Ducks. But let’s not forget, the Kings have the most important trophy, as Sydney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins mentioned and congratulated, the 2014 Stanley Cup Champions.

Tags: Dustin Brown, Hockey, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Kings, NHL

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