NHLPA UNVEILS TED LINDSAY AWARD
TORONTO (April 29, 2010) – The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today at the Hockey Hall of Fame (HHOF) that the Lester B. Pearson Award is being reintroduced as the Ted Lindsay Award. The Award honours Ted Lindsay, an All-Star forward known for his skill, tenacity, leadership, and for his role in establishing the original Players' Association. The players’ accolade will continue to be presented annually to the "Most Outstanding Player" in the NHL, as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA.
"This is a great honour to have bestowed upon me," said Ted Lindsay. "I took great pride in my hockey career, both on the ice competing towards a championship with my teammates, and off of the ice for the work that we did to ensure our fellow players enjoyed proper rights and benefits.
"I am very proud and appreciative that the most outstanding player each season, as voted by his peers, will receive the award with my name on it."
Lindsay played 14 of his 17 NHL seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, spending the three other seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks. In 1,068 career games, he recorded 379 goals and 472 assists for 851 points, and 1,808 penalty minutes. In 1966, Lindsay was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. His jersey, #7, was retired by the Detroit Red Wings in 1991. Lindsay won four Stanley Cups with the Red Wings (1949-50, 1951-52, 1953-54, and 1954-55), captaining the club for the last two of those championships.
Lindsay played on one of the most famous lines in NHL history, playing left-wing on the "Production Line" line with Sid Abel and Gordie Howe. In 1949-50 they combined to finish 1-2-3 in league scoring, with Lindsay recording 78 points in 69 games to earn the Art Ross Trophy. He was also named to the NHL’s first All-Star team eight times in his career (1947-48; 1949-50 through 1956-57).
In addition to his on-ice successes, the NHLPA honours Ted Lindsay with an award in his name for his sacrifice and leadership in establishing the original Players’ Association. With the assistance of fellow players, Bill Gadsby, Doug Harvey, Fern Flaman, Gus Mortson, Jim Thomson and others, Lindsay was instrumental in organizing the original Players’ Association in 1957 to promote, foster and protect the interests of players. Notably, he was the first President of the Association.
Lindsay paid a steep personal price for his efforts on behalf of his fellow players. He was first stripped of his Red Wings captaincy and then, following his best statistical season in the NHL, he was traded from a very strong Red Wings team to the Blackhawks, who at the time were struggling at the bottom of the standings. Though the Association would initially be stifled by management, the efforts of Ted Lindsay and his fellow players laid the groundwork for the formation of the current NHLPA. In 1967, the NHLPA was formally ratified as a labour organization whose members are the players in the NHL.
"All NHLPA members, current and former, owe a great deal of gratitude to Ted for his efforts, so it is only fitting that we name our most outstanding player award after him," said Jarome Iginla, 2001-02 Lester B. Pearson Award Recipient. "The Ted Lindsay Award is a prestigious honour that will continue the tradition set forth by the Lester B. Pearson Award."
"Naming our most outstanding player award after Ted Lindsay is the highest honour our Association can bestow upon him. We are very proud to honour one of the great players of our game and a true pioneer of our Association." said the members of the NHLPA Executive Board.
In a tribute to its namesake, the Ted Lindsay Award trophy reflects many important characteristics of Lindsay’s distinguished hockey career – combining elements of strength, history, individuality and dignity. On the trophy, one plate details how Lindsay began one of hockey’s greatest and long-running traditions. After the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 1950 in front of their hometown fans, Lindsay took the Cup in hand and skated around the ice of the Detroit Olympia, sharing the game’s ultimate prize with all those in attendance.
The Ted Lindsay Award trophy was designed by Myros Trutiak of MST Bronze, with creative input from Ted & his wife Joanne, along with Jonathan Weatherdon and Andrew Wolfe of the NHLPA in each step of the process.
Lester B. Pearson’s name will also continue to play an important role within the NHLPA. The official text of the Lester B. Pearson Award is plated on the new trophy and the names of the Pearson Award recipients are engraved onto its wooden panels, maintaining the strong history of the Award. An annual NHLPA Goals & Dreams equipment donation will also be made in the former Prime Minister’s name to a Canadian youth hockey organization, which will be selected together with a member of the Pearson family.
The Ted Lindsay Award will be presented at the 2010 NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas on June 23, 2010 to the 2009-10 recipient.
Ted and his wife Joanne were on hand today at the HHOF for the media conference at the HHOF to unveil the new trophy. The media conference was emceed by Chris Simpson with guest speakers Jamal Mayers, former Executive Board member and a trustee of the NHL Players’ Pension Plan; and Dick Duff, HHOF member. Mike and Marian Ilitch, the owners of the Detroit Red Wings, were also in attendance.
For official photos (high-resolution), media kit materials, and more, please visit the Ted Lindsay Award section at www.nhlpa.com/Ted-Lindsay-Award.