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King Clancy Memorial Trophy

Hockey is a sport, but it is so much more than that to the NHL. With the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, the NHL annually recognizes the player “who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.” (NHL)

Each NHL team nominates a player for the award, and the winner is selected by a special committee of senior NHL executives. The league established the King Clancy award in 1988. The NHL describes the criteria for the award as follows: the investment of time and resources, commitment to a cause or community, creativity, influence and engagement, and measurement of impact.

King Clancy Memorial Trophy — History

Francis Michael “King” Clancy, born in Ottawa, Ontario, in 1902, was a standout defenseman for the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs. He won three Stanley Cups (two with the Senators and one with the Leafs), and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958.

After he retired as a player in 1937, he remained active in hockey, including serving as an NHL referee, AHL coach, and coach of the Leafs for one season. He was a member of the Leafs’ executive team until he passed away in 1986. He was known as a scrappy player and described by Leafs owner Harold Ballard as “one of the greatest humanitarians that ever lived.”

King Clancy Memorial Trophy — Trivia

  • In a 1923 Stanley Cup game against the Edmonton Eskimos, Clancy once played every position on the ice — including goalie. The Senators won the game.
  • Largely as a result of acquiring Clancy in 1930, the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup in 1932.
  • In 1921, Clancy became the youngest player ever to enter the NHL, only 17 years old. (He weighed 150 pounds.)
  • When Clancy retired in 1937, he was the highest scoring defenseman in the history of the NHL.
  • Multiple Clancy award winners: Henrik Sedin is the only player who has won more than once. He won solo in 2016, and again in 2018 along with a familiar face — his teammate and twin brother, Daniel Sedin.
  • All of the King Clancy Trophy winners (and nominees, for that matter) are notable for their generous support of local, national and/or international charitable organizations and other public service initiatives. Just a few examples:
    • Dave Poulin of the Boston Bruins, 1992-93 winner, was Co-Chairman of the March of Dimes “Walk for Life.”
    • Kelly Chase of the St. Louis Blues, 1997-98 winner, was active in the Gateway Project, a program to help mentally challenged children participate in sports.
    • Olaf Kolzig of the Washington Capitals, 2005-06 winner, co-founded “Athletes Against Autism.”

King Clancy Memorial Trophy — Complete List of Winners

  • 2018: Daniel Sedin & Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
  • 2017: Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets
  • 2016: Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
  • 2015: Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings
  • 2014: Andrew Ference, Edmonton Oilers
  • 2013: Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
  • 2012: Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators
  • 2011: Doug Weight, New York Islanders
  • 2010: Shane Doan, Phoenix Coyotes
  • 2009: Ethan Moreau, Edmonton Oilers
  • 2008: Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning
  • 2007: Saku Koivu, Montreal Canadiens
  • 2006: Olaf Kolzig, Washington Capitals
  • 2004: Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames
  • 2003: Brendan Shanahan, Detroit Red Wings
  • 2002: Ron Francis, Carolina Hurricanes
  • 2001: Shjon Podein, Colorado Avalanche
  • 2000: Curtis Joseph, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 1999: Rob Ray, Buffalo Sabres
  • 1998: Kelly Chase, St. Louis Blues
  • 1997: Trevor Linden, Vancouver Canucks
  • 1996: Kris King, Winnipeg Jets
  • 1995: Joe Nieuwendyk, Calgary Flames
  • 1994: Adam Graves, New York Rangers
  • 1993: Dave Poulin, Boston Bruins
  • 1992: Ray Bourque, Boston Bruins
  • 1991: Dave Taylor, Los Angeles Kings
  • 1990: Kevin Lowe, Edmonton Oilers
  • 1989: Bryan Trottier, New York Islanders
  • 1988: Lanny McDonald, Calgary Flames