Boston Bruins' captain Zdeno Chara was recognized for his superb leadership on Wednesday night at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas when former New York Rangers captain and six-time Stanley Cup champion Mark Messier named him the winner of the Messier Leadership Award.
Messier, who captained the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers to five and one Stanley Cups, respectively, is the lone voter on the award, whose nominees are suggested by teams, fans and NHL personnel.
Chara joins Chris Chelios (2007), Mats Sundin (2008), Jarome Iginla (2009) and Sidney Crosby (2010) as the only winners in the award's brief history.
Chara led the league in plus-minus in both the regular season (plus-33) and playoffs (plus-16), and registered his first career hat trick in a February game against the Carolina Huricanes.
He was a finalist for the Norris Trophy as league's leading defenseman, but Nicklas Lidstrom of Detroit wound up taking home the award.