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2011 Dallas Stars Mock NHL Awards: Mark Messier Leadership Award

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While the news-less month of May rolls on and we continue to await any new word on the ownership situation we'll keep plugging along with player grades, coaching profiles, plays of the months, etc. Today we'll start a new series: NHL Awards: Dallas Stars Edition.

While some awards (the Vezina for example) might be obvious where the Stars roster is concerned there are others that can be debated (Selke, Byng, Masterton, Calder, etc...) and some that might turn out just downright comical (Jack Adams award for Stars coaches?) in hindsight, and some (Conn Smythe) that don't need awarding at all in a Dallas Stars setting.

Today we'll start with a lesser known NHL award: The Mark Messier Leadership Award.

It is "Awarded to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season." There is an implied 'off the ice' component in some descriptions but we'll leave that to the King Clancy Memorial Trophy award.

Nominees:

Brenden Morrow: When times were good in December it was Brenden Morrow leading the charge, playing through injuries, scoring big goals and being the captain everyone remembers circa spring of 2008. When times were not so good in March and in April there he was answering the media and answering all the questions, sticking up for his guys, and playing through even more serious (and secret) injuries until the bitter end.

Adam Burish: Many say Adam Burish's presence in the locker room and his positive (brash) attitude toward what the team was capable of and what they should expect from themselves spurned them onto the great start they had. He closed games, killed big penalties, won big faceoffs and sacrificed his body time and time again in the name of shot blocking, ultimately injuring him multiple times.

Steve Ott: The emotional leader of the Dallas Stars and frequent sporter of an 'A' on his chest, Ott had a little bit of a down year offensively but was just as effective as ever in the faceoff circle and drawing penalties. Fire like his keeps a team chugging along in the long middle winter months of the season. He has grown to become a strong voice in the locker room to his teammates and the media alike.

Honorable Mentions: Brad Richards, Stephane Robidas.