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From the Branches: It’s Mark Messier Leadership Award nominations day!

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It’s time to find out who’s as good a leader as Mark Messier was (not including his time in Vancouver).

2016 NHL Awards - Show Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Oh boy, I couldn’t sleep last night knowing that today is the day we find out who’s being nominated for the Mark Messier Leadership Award for being a Good Leader like Mark Messier sponsored by Cold-FX.

Last year Shea Weber won the award, and that’s probably what put the Canadiens over the edge and decided to pull the trigger, send PK Subban to Nashville, and bring aboard 30 year old Shea Weber who was signed for TEN YEARS AT 7.8 MILLION PER SEASON.

[pause for laugh track]

Mark Messier is the only person who decides who wins the Mark Messier Award for being well liked by Mark Messier sponsored by Cold-FX, so we’re all on pins and needles to find out who gets the nomination this year.

I checked the Leadership stats and...well, see you can't track it, so this award is even more random and arbitrary than the NHL/Sheraton Hotels Road Performer Award, but it’s still better than the Bud Light +/- Award.

The best way to find out who the best leader is that is as good a leader as Mark Messier is to find the person who signed as a free agent, took the captaincy from a beloved star player, was bad at his job, then fled back to a safe market. Just like San Jose Sharks legend Mark Messier did in Vancouver!

Oh, and they’ll have to sure the team when they retire.

Good luck to all the nominees!

Here are your morning links:

Kasperi Kapanen makes it look easy in big return win with Marlies - Pension Plan Puppets
It’s Kasperi Kapanen’s world and the Albany Devils are now living in it.

Mike Babcock named Jack Adams finalist: So he’s getting fired? - Pension Plan Puppets
That’s how it goes, right? Win the Jack Adams, look for a job?

Wild or Ducks could be a potential trade partner for Leafs around expansion draft - TLN

Are the Sabres eyeing John Chayka? - Five For Howling
Coyotes GM rumored to be a Buffalo GM Target.

Ask the Writers: Should the Sharks re-sign Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton? - Fear The Fin
Following up on today’s Daily Chum

(No, Thornton will sign a cheap deal to win with the Leafs)

Down Goes Brown: Is Penguins/Capitals the best second-round matchup ever?

Is Jarome Iginla coming back to Boston? - Stanley Cup of Chowder

It looks like it. But is it to play?

Nikita Kucherov on Lightning linemates: They got their money and stopped working - Raw Charge
Kucherov drops bombshells in Russian interview with Sovsports.ru.

Nashville Predators 4, St. Louis Blues 3: Vernon Fiddler Scores Late To Win Game 1 - On the Forecheck
Yep. The 4th line wins it for the Preds. Sort of.

Kevin Fiala gets gruesomely injured in the process.

Enjoy your day folks!