Another day; another list of NHL award nominees.
Friday morning saw the league announce the nominees for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, with San Jose’s Kurtis Gabriel, New Jersey’s P.K. Subban, and Nashville’s Pekka Rinne put in contention for the honor awarded to the player who “best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community”.
It’s the Good Person Award, more or less. And this year’s nominees happen to clearly fit the bill.
Gabriel has been an incredibly outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ+ community throughout his career, using his social media presence to educate fans on the various issues faced by the community while sparking vital dialogues in the hopes of making hockey become a more inclusive place.
While most NHL players typically sport pride tape in warm-ups for their team’s annual Pride Nights before eventually removing it prior to puck drop, Gabriel is one of the very few who keeps his on throughout the game, choosing instead to demonstrate his support on the biggest stage possible.
Gabriel has also participated in numerous events in support of the LGBTQ+ community. His long-standing relationship with the Bradburry-Sullivan LGBTQ Community Centre in Allentown, Pennsylvania serving as a primary example that recently saw Gabriel appear in a video for their 2020 Virtual Pride Festival.
As for Rinne, his standing as a long-time fixture in the local Nashville community paints a thoroughly compelling case for King Clancy honors. The 38-year-old has worked extensively with a number of charitable organizations that each do incredible work, such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Peterson Foundation for Parkinson’s, and Best Buddies, a non-profit group that works in support of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Furthermore, Rinne also established the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund in 2012 along with then-Predators captain Shea Weber, which ultimately raised over $3 million in support of cancer research at Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
And then there’s Subban, a three-time Clancy nominee, who rounds out the group with a lengthy list of humanitarian efforts of his own.
Subban established the P.K. Subban foundation in 2014 as a member of the Montreal Canadiens, an effort which ultimately led to a record-breaking $10 million donation made to the Montreal Children’s Hospital, the most ever by a professional athlete at the time.
He also created the Blueline Buddies program upon his move to New Jersey, focusing on connecting Newark police officers with members of the community in the hopes of improving relations between the two groups. With in-person meetings halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Subban helped arrange video conferences in order to keep the program running in 2020 and 2021.
Regardless of who takes home the hardware, each nominee is an example of athletes using their platforms for the greater good.