Chara wins Messier Award, finishes third for Norris

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Chara wins Messier Award, finishes third for Norris

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
LAS VEGAS Its only appropriate that in the season when Zdeno Chara made his quantum leap as a leader that he was awarded the NHLs highest honor for leadership.

Chara finished third in the Norris Trophy voting for best defenseman behind winner Nicklas Lidstrom and Shea Weber, but the 6-foot-9 Bruins captain took home the Mark Messier Leadership Award after leading the Bruins to the Stanley Cup.

The award is bestowed in recognition of commitment and services to the charities in the community as well as to the player who leads by positive example with his on-ice performance, motivation of team members and dedication to community activities.

The rough-and-tumble Chara has always been a lead-by-example player on the ice and a charitable sort since arriving in Boston, and those qualities have only been enhanced by what he's done off the ice.

Messier solicited opinions from league officials and team executives as well as NHL fans in picking Chara, Phoenixs Shane Doan and Detroits Lidstrom as the finalists for this years award. The former Oilers and Rangers great eventually chose the 18th captain of the Bruins due to the great strides hes taken in becoming only the second European-born Captain to lead a team to the Cup. Charas extensive work with Right to Play, the Bruins PJ Drive and Cuts for a Cause charities in the city of Boston also helped his cause.

To be selected by somebody like Mark is an honor, said Chara. You have to be a true leader and it doesn't happen overnight. Coming to Boston was great. I'm lucky to be surrounded by other players. I learned from veterans from previous years and early in my career too . . . but it just takes time.

I'm at the point where I'm really myself and I know that to be a leader you need to have followers. That's what I had in Boston. I'm thankful to my teammates, obviously the coaching staff and the organization. They all believed in me. They know that we as a group can get a job done. It's a privilege. I take it to heart to do a good job on and off the ice -- and be fair and a hard worker.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Morning Skate: Blackhawks get band back together

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Morning Skate: Blackhawks get band back together

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while knowing that nobody will ever forget the courage and zest for life that 5-year-old Red Sox fan Ari Schultz showed in his far too short life. Rest in peace, little guy.  

 *PHT writer James O’Brien has the Chicago Blackhawks adjusting to the returns of both Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp after their short stints away from the fold. It will be really interesting to see if the Blackhawks can recreate their magic by bringing some of the past Cup pieces to the scene after last year’s disappointing end.

*Ilya Kovalchuk is primed for a return to the NHL in 2018-19 after playing one more season, an Olympic season no less, in the KHL.

*Good piece by FOH (Friend of Haggs) Arpon Basu chronicling the day with the Cup in Montreal for Marc-Andre Fleury.

*Speaking of the Blackhawks, it sounds like Jonathan Toews is going to scale back on the “Captain Serious” approach to his hockey career this upcoming season.

*Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee is pleased with the state of his expansion team after looking at some of the pieces, and doing a little wheeling and dealing after the fact. I mean, you have to wheel and deal if you’re a hockey team in Vegas, right?

*Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar is relieved his new contract with the Winged Wheels will allow him to avoid arbitration.

*For something completely different: It remains to be seen whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but we’re completely in a culture where media entities are writing full stories about posters. Okay, I think this is a bad thing and my mind is already made up.