Face of the franchise center Patrice Bergeron’s first season as the captain of the Bruins was as advertised, as Bergeron was named the winner of the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award for the 2021 season.
Introduced in 2007 and presented annually to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities on and off the ice and who plays a leading role in his community growing the game of hockey, the honor is voted on by just one person: Mark Messier.
Bergeron’s recognition comes after a 2021 season that included 23 goals and 48 points in 54 games, along with a league-high 714 faceoff victories and league-best 62.3 faceoff percentage at the dot en route to his 10th straight Selke Trophy nomination. The team’s lead-by-example presence in all three zones, Bergeron also posted a plus-27 rating, which was his highest single-season plus-minus since his plus-38 rating during the Bruins’ 2013-13 Presidents’ Trophy season.
Off the ice, Bergeron continued the “Patrice’s Pals” program, continued the team’s annual hospital visits and holiday toy drives, and has been the face of the Pucks & Paddles event that’s raised $375,000 to benefit Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Children Hospital and the Boston Bruins Foundation since it replaced Cuts For A Cause in 2018.
In June of 2020, following the murder of George Floyd, Bergeron and his family donated a total of $50,000 ($25,000 each to NAACP Boston and the Centre Multiethnique de Quebec) and released a statement on activism and allyship.
“It’s a huge honor,” the 35-year-old Bergeron said. “Obviously there’s more than just X’s and O’s and playing the game of hockey. It’s about the community and what impact you can bring to people and obviously to your team, but also beyond that and to grow the game of hockey.”
This is not the first time that Bergeron has been recognized for his leadership and community work.
In 2013, Bergeron was named the winner of the King Clancy Trophy, awarded annually to an NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities both on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community. He was also nominated for the award last year. Bergeron was named the winner of the NHL Foundation Player Award back in 2014, too, which recognizes the NHL player who applies the core values of hockey — commitment, perseverance and teamwork — to enrich the lives of people in his community.
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