Well, they won’t give Patrice Bergeron his 5th Selke until he puts up an 82 game scorcher, so in his first year as full-on Captain will end with him receiving the Mark Messier Award for Leadership.
This year's winner of the Mark Messier Leadership Award is Patrice Bergeron! #NHLAwards pic.twitter.com/2fjiTQG0K5— NHL (@NHL) June 23, 2021
Patrice Bergeron is your 2021 winner of the Mark Messier Leadership Award.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 23, 2021
According to NHL.com, the Award is given to a player who “...exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular season.”, picked by Mark Messier himself from suggestions from fans, coaches, players etc., and then decided by him.
Truly, there has never been a more “hockey” award than to have a dude everyone liked thirty years ago give a trophy to a guy he likes. It wasn’t even a necessarily narrow race this year, either.
The Mark Messier Leadership Award Voting #NHL— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) June 24, 2021
Not a close race this year pic.twitter.com/MkwvBMEr7u
But! You cannot say Bergeron didn’t earn it from the day they played a little prank on the league by making Marchand captain for like twelve seconds; Usually one of the best players on the ice for the Bruins throughout the regular season, a defensive mastermind as per usual, a motivator in all the best ways, and most notably, was indeed the catalyst for the Bruins showing up to Lake Tahoe in their 1993 best, continuing a tradition from Zdeno Chara’s time as captain for outdoor games.
It’s very hard to find a player with a bad thing to say about him, and the B’s have been following in his wake for years, so it seems only natural that he’d end up with some sort of nod from Messier.
Congrats to Patrice on his nomination and win!