Individual who leads by positive example through on-ice performance, motivation of team members and a dedication to community activities and charitable causes.
The Mark Messier Leadership Award is a National Hockey League (NHL) award that recognizes an individual as a superior leader within their sport, and as a contributing member of society. The award is given to a player selected by Mark Messier to honor an individual who leads by positive example through on-ice performance, motivation of team members and a dedication to community activities and charitable causes. It was first awarded during 2006–07 NHL season and sponsored by Cold-fX.
The Mark Messier Leadership Award worked quite differently in its first season compared to most other trophies in the NHL. In 2006–07, five players were honored with monthly awards as selected by the NHL based on the qualification of potential recipients, while the final decision was made by Mark Messier. The league did not announce monthly winners in 2007–08. At the end of the regular season, one player is chosen as the Leader of the Year. The first winner of the annual award was Chris Chelios of the Detroit Red Wings.