Zdeno Chara has been named a finalist for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award. The award recognizes players who are superior leaders in hockey and are also dedicated to community activities and charity.
Sidney Crosby and Jarome Iginla are the other finalists. The winner will be announced June 18.
Here is some text on Chara from an official release on the award:
Since signing with the Bruins on July 1, 2006, Zdeno Chara has led the team on a relentlessly upward climb that this season saw Boston finish with the best record in the Eastern Conference. Since his naming as captain before the 2006-07 season, the Bruins have gone from missing the playoffs a second straight year to winning 41 games and qualifying for the 2008 postseason to going 53-19-10 this past season. Chara’s goal totals in his three seasons with the Bruins have gone from 11 to 17 to 19. He has been named a finalist for the Norris Trophy for the second straight year and the third time in his career. The man-mountain from Trencin, Slovakia, similarly has been driven to scale impressive heights off the ice – last summer, he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to focus attention on Right to Play, the international charitable organization that uses sport and play to enhance child development in areas of disadvantage. Chara also raised $18,000 for Right to Play by winning the Hardest Shot competition at 2009 NHL All-Star Weekend after getting his competitors, the NHL, and the NHLPA to contribute to a pot to go to the victor’s charity of choice.