The NHL announced the King Clancy Trophy nominees, and on the list is Mitch Marner of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
As a born and raised Greater Toronto Area resident, Marner has always been a self-proclaimed Toronto Maple Leafs fan so it’s understandably a dream come true for him to represent the team he’s always cheered for.
As a child hockey star, he was interviewed by City and quoted as saying his favourite team is the Toronto Maple Leafs and he could score on Curtis Joseph. An ambitious goal for a 4-year-old, but hard to argue it these days.
Now that he gets to wear the blue and white himself, the loyalty he shows for his team and hometown continues to blossom in places that reach beyond the rink.
Marner is a fan favourite because of the magic he creates with every play he’s part of, but he’s revered by many because of the efforts he puts into enriching the lives of those he’s able to impact.
King Clancy Trophy
The NHL summarizes the trophy as being awarded to the player best exemplifying leadership qualities, at and away from the arena, having contributed to humanitarian causes throughout their community.
They go on to add this list of criteria needed:
Clear and measurable positive impact on the community
Investment of time and resources
Commitment to a particular cause or community
Commitment to the League’s community initiatives
Creativity of programming
Use of influence; engagement of others
Marner doesn’t just produce on the ice, he also creates positive influences off of it as well. If you want a quick snapshot of the types of outreach and support he provides using his platform, just scroll his Twitter feed.
He’s been known to interact with fans in ways that go above and beyond any expectation, having even developed real and meaningful relationships along the way.
Remembering Hayden Foulon
Mitch Marner dedicated his 2019-20 season to Hayden Foulon, a young fan that tragically lost her battle with leukemia.
Marner and Foulon met while he was playing with the London Knights and the team would visit the children’s hospital. He stayed in touch with her family ever since and even invited her to a Maple Leafs home opener.
In discussing their relationship, he explained:
Since I met her in London she’s always been someone close and special to me. Always someone, whenever you see her, she put a smile on your face,” said Marner to Sportsnet’s Shawn McKenzie. “Obviously, my thoughts are with her family and she will never be forgotten in a lot of our hearts since she meant a lot to everybody. It’s a sad day, and this year will be for her now. (She’s) someone I’ll always remember.
There’s no denying that Marner and Hayden had a special relationship and our condolences go out to the Foulon family for their loss.
Assisting With Funds
Not only does he involve himself with the types of things any sports enthusiast, dog-loving, adventure-seeking 23-year-old is known to be interested in, but he leverages his massive reach to help others too.
Most notability, Mitch created the Marner Assist Fund.
His organization aims to help a number of local and national groups, by bringing awareness and generating support for those respective causes.
The fund also hosts the Marner All-Star Invitational, which is a marquee summer event that former and current hockey stars take part in to raise money for children’s organizations.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, they decided it was best to postpone this year’s tournament. However, they quickly shifted their focus to helping during the pandemic.
We are extremely proud to have been able to contribute to many worthwhile COVID releif efforts through our Marner #MakeAnAssist Pandemic Relieve campaign over the last several months. We have supported Second Harvest with over 40,000 meals delievered to feed children & families, Mitch’s teammates’ efforts to support two local area hospitals and four-time Olympic gold medalist Hayley Wickenheiser’s charitable efforts have received funds from MAF.
They go on to add:
The Marner Assist Fund will also contribute to additional programs over the coming weeks developed to meet local needs arising from the Pandemic along with continuing our grass roots initiative developed to show support to our vital front-line workers and our most vulnerable in need. This would not have been possible without your contributions.
The Marner Assist Fund continues to grow and progress their efforts towards helping communities, near and far. Being able to optimize his reach to help them do so is something that deserves recognition.
Picking the Winner
All 31 teams submit their nominee for the award and the NHL later condenses that list to the three finalists.
Everyone included continues to do amazing work, helping those who need it most. Each one of these athletes should be praised for effectively utilizing their platform for good.
As he continues to prove his superstar status on the ice, Marner’s humanitarian efforts shine even brighter off of it.