Late on Monday, the NHL announced that the Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler had been named as his team’s nominee for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. The league announced its 31 nominees in the following press release and tweet Monday afternoon.
The History of the King Clancy Memorial Award
The King Clancy Memorial Trophy was first awarded in 1987-88 and is presented “to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”
In early August, the three finalists for the award will be announced; and, the Award winner will be announced during the conference finals. The Award winner will receive a $25,000 donation from the National Hockey League Foundation that he can forward to a charity or charities of his choice. Two runners-up each will each receive a $5,000 donation from the National Hockey League Foundation and will be able to present that cash award to charities of their choice.
The Jets Kris King won the King Clancy in 1995-96.
Blake Wheeler’s History with the Jets
The 33-year-old Wheeler has been with the Jets’ organization for 10 seasons (he played with the Atlanta Thrashers during their last season in Georgia) and relocated with the team when it moved from Atlanta in 2011. He’s been the Jets’ captain since 2016. In the 2017-18 season, Wheeler was a finalist for the Mark Messier Leadership Award and has been a consistent part of the Jets community initiatives.
Wheeler: A Thoughtful and Considerate Guy
Wheeler is a thoughtful guy. During a video conference call on Tuesday, which was organized by the NHL he talked about life in Winnipeg during the COVID-19 pandemic, noting how difficult it was to stay quarantined as the weather improved after a cold Manitoba winter. But, for me, that call was memorable because – without prompting – he signed-off that call by wisely reminding fans:
“The most important thing, and especially here in Winnipeg where it’s starting to get nicer out, we’ve been locked inside all winter so you have to fight the urge to get out and do things as you normally would. … Sam and I have some friends that are doctors or in the medical field and the amount of work they have — it’s around the clock. Obviously, we can’t thank them enough for everything they’re doing here. We’ve just got to take care of each other, and people take it seriously. The earlier on, the shorter it’s going to last.” (from “Jets’ Wheeler adjusting to life as full-time dad, teacher,” Scott Belleck, Winnipeg Sun, 31/03/20).
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