The award is given annually to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.
The winner will be announced as part of the 2021 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone during the Stanley Cup Semifinals or Stanley Cup Final. That player, chosen by a committee of senior NHL executives led by Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, will receive a $25,000 donation from the National Hockey League Foundation to benefit a charity or charities of his choice. The two runners-up each will get a $5,000 donation.
Gabriel, a forward with the San Jose Sharks, has helped promote LGBTQ+ awareness, using his social media accounts to amplify and educate fans and players on LGBTQ+ causes by participating in events, having conversations and using rainbow-colored pride tape on his hockey sticks.
Gabriel, who lost his father to suicide when he was 10 years old, has also been a strong advocate for mental health awareness.
A first-time finalist, Gabriel has supported Black Girl Hockey Club and will auction off his skates for the Sharks Foundation during their Juneteenth auction from June 17-19, with proceeds going to a diversity-focused non-profit organization.
Rinne, a goalie with the Nashville Predators, has supported the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer initiative. He spearheaded the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund with former teammate Shea Weber, which raises money and awareness for cancer research, having donated more than $3 million since 2012-13.
A first-time finalist, Rinne is active in the Best Buddies program in Tennessee, in which he interacts with cancer patients, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, helping to grant wishes to those with terminal illnesses. He also takes part in fundraising events to help aid those with Parkinson’s disease and was a big part of the Feed the Frontline initiative, which the Predators introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, to help local restaurants stay in business and keep their staffs employed.
Subban, a defenseman with the New Jersey Devils, has been committed to racial and social justice, underserved youth, COVID-19 relief, and youth hockey. He created the P.K. Subban Foundation in 2014 while playing for the Montreal Canadiens and pledged $10 million over seven years to Montreal Children’s Hospital.
Subban also founded Blueline Buddies in 2016 while playing for the Predators. The program aims to bridge the gap between law enforcement and local youth. Last June, Subban made a $50,000 donation to the fundraiser for Gianna Floyd, the daughter of George Floyd, a Black man who died while in custody of the Minneapolis police on May 25, 2020.
A finalist for the third time (2017-18, 2019-20), Subban was named co-chair for the Player Inclusion Committee under the newly formed Executive Inclusion Council, which is comprised of NHL owners, former players and team and League executives, and aims to provide solutions that positively impact underrepresented groups in the game.
Defenseman Matt Dumba of the Minnesota Wild won the King Clancy Trophy last season.