The NHL released the full list of King Clancy Memorial Trophy nominees today, and there’s very little to argue with. The league is full of players who contribute not just to their team, but to their communities at large, and it’s this generosity of spirit that is celebrated through being nominated for this trophy. The NHL awards the King Clancy Memorial Trophy yearly to “the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”
The NHL’s executives, Bill Daly, and Gary Bettman select the winner.
To no one’s surprise, the Blues have nominated their captain, Ryan O’Reilly, for the award. O’Reilly was also the team’s nominee for the King Clancy last season, and in 2019 as well. From the Blues’ press release:
Despite having strict COVID-19 protocols that prevent him from being out in the community, O’Reilly still found a variety of ways to give back.
Last November, the Blues captain sent a video message to Dr. Colleen McEvoy, a pulmonary and critical care physician at Barnes Jewish Hospital who was responsible for developing the hospital’s COVID-19 protocols. McEvoy was diagnosed with Stage 2B breast cancer and had to undergo chemotherapy alone due to the pandemic protocols, so O’Reilly’s message came at the perfect time.
In March, O’Reilly surprised a fourth-grade classroom at Renfro Elementary School in Collinsville, IL with a virtual Q&A session over Zoom. During the call, O’Reilly quizzed the students on their math skills, talked hockey, and even got some laughs by showing off his missing tooth.
In addition, O’Reilly organized virtual holiday hospital visits for the team, and helped create a toy drive for hospitalized children that collected more than 800 toys and gift cards to locally-owned restaurants. Last April, he also launched a hand sanitizer drive in his hometown that supplied retirement homes and long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The King Clancy winner will be announced at the NHL Awards ceremony this summer.