The National Hockey League announced on Friday that San Jose Sharks forward Brent Burns has been named a finalist for the 2014 NHL Foundation Player Award along with Duncan Keith and Patrice Bergeron. The NHL Foundation Player Award is awarded annually to the National Hockey League player who applies the core values of hockey-commitment, perseverance and teamwork-to enrich the lives of people in his community.
Burns, 28, just completed his ninth NHL season. A leader on and off the ice, Burns has worked tirelessly to make an impact in the Bay Area and North American communities, supporting organizations such as the Sharks Foundation and Defending The Blueline by participating in numerous events throughout the year.
Defending The Blueline is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports military families by ensuring the children of military members are afforded every opportunity to participate in the game of hockey. Burns has supported Defending The Blueline since the organization was founded in 2009 while he was a member of the Minnesota Wild, and continued to stay heavily involved with DTBL after bringing his talents to the San Jose Sharks.
This season, Burns made a huge impact on the children served by Defending The Blueline. Along with being a strident advocate for the organization, Burns donated a suite to military families for every San Jose Sharks home game, raised over $24,000 by shaving his head and beard in "Burnzie's Buzz Cut for Charity", helped raise over $60,000 with the "Skate For The Troops and Jr. Sharks Fundraiser", and continued to donate the proceeds from his signature line of clothing made by Gongshow Gear.
On a local level, Burns has assisted the Sharks Foundation, which offers unique resources and financial support to organizations that enhance the lives of the local youth, in a variety of ways. He has participated in many community events over the course of the 2013-14 season which include:
- Helped the Sharks Foundation raise over $100,000 by participating in the Sharks Foundation Golf Classic
- Participated in the Sharks annual "Hockey Fights Cancer" Awareness Night by meeting with Leukemia & Lymphoma Society clients post-game
- Participated in a Christmas hospital visit at Kaiser Santa Clara, where he visited a dozen children who would be hospitalized over the holidays
- Helped the Sharks Foundation raise over $110,000 at the annual "Sampling with the Sharks" event
- Participated in the "Sharks & Strikes" bowling event to help raise nearly $50,000 for the Sharks Foundation
- Biked over 52 miles with Sharks fans at the first annual Fitness Faceoff: Run/Ride/Health Fest
- Participated in "Shark for a Day" event in which 18-year-old Make-A-Wish client Sam Tageson was given the opportunity to be a part of the Sharks morning skate, take several behind-the-scenes tours, skate through the Shark Head for introductions, and be announced as part of the starting lineup
- Provision of autographed items to many youth-related causes (fundraising initiatives)
- Always quick to attend meet and greets with children and other fans following games
The native of Barrie, ON was originally selected by Minnesota in the first round (20th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired by San Jose via trade on June 24, 2011.
The Sharks media services provided this report.