Former Red Deer Rebels and Portland Winterhawks defenceman Matt Dumba has been named the recipient of the NHL’s King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which is presented annually “to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”
The NHL announced Dumba as the winner of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy on Sunday evening, prior to the beginning of the Western Conference Final.
“This is a very special day for me and my family,” Dumba told NHL.com. “I don’t think I ever need the recognition when it comes to this kind of stuff, but to be recognized feels really good. Our family is just, you’re taking it all in and trying to enjoy the moment right now. It’s hard to wrap your head around how special this is for everyone and I’m so happy I get a loss for words when I start talking about it.”
Dumba, 26, provided a vocal and visible response to social unrest across North America, co-founding the Hockey Diversity Alliance (HDA), aimed at eradicating systemic racism and intolerance in hockey. As the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers opened in Edmonton, Alta., Dumba took to centre ice and delivered a powerful message.
Additionally, Dumba sparked an incredible initiative in Minneapolis – the Rebuild Minnesota project. The goal for the Rebuild Minnesota project is to assist Minneapolis businesses impacted by riots and protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. The Rebuild Minnesota fundraiser is targeting a goal of $500,000, with all funds going to Lake Street Council in Minnesota and ActionDignity in Canada.
Dumba also stepped up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting more than 60 families who are a part of ACES (Athletes Committed to Educating Students). He worked closely with Hockey Fights Cancer and made a notable donation to Australia wildfire relief efforts.
Selected by a committee of senior NHL executives, led by Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, Dumba receives a donation of $25,000 from the NHL Foundation that he will split between ACES and HDA.
“I don’t want any of this to be swept under the rug,” Dumba said. “This for me is not just a singular moment. It’s all part of this journey that I’m committed to and I think I’m going to commit to this my whole life, so this is just the start.”
A native of Calgary, Alta., Dumba enjoyed a stellar five seasons in the WHL, including four campaigns with the Red Deer Rebels after being selected fourth overall in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft. Over the course of 225 career WHL regular season contests, the mobile defenceman registered 151 points (59G-92A), adding another 24 points (12G-12A) in 41 career WHL post-season outings.
For the 2010-11 WHL season, Dumba was awarded the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy as WHL Rookie of the Year after recording 26 points (15G-11A) in 62 games while logging a plus-minus of plus-24. From there, he was named to the CHL Top Prospects Game in 2012, a precursor to the Wild selecting him in the first round (seventh overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.
Since being selected by the Wild, Dumba has enjoyed seven quality seasons in the NHL, recording 174 points (62G-112A) in 411 career regular season appearances.
According to the NHL, the King Clancy Memorial Trophy was presented in 1988 by the NHL’s Board of Gvoernors in honour of Frank “King” Clancy, a beloved figure in the League for decades as a player, referee, coach, manager and goodwill ambassador. A three-time Stanley Cup champion and 1958 inductee to the Hockey Hall of Fame, Clancy was voted as one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players during the League’s Centennial Celebration in 2017.
A number of WHL Alumni have won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy over the years, including: Andrew Ference (Edmonton Oilers, 2013-14), Shane Doan (2009-10, Phoenix Coyotes), Olie Kolzig (Washington Capitals, 2005-06), Jarome Iginla (2003-04, Calgary Flames), Kelly Chase (St. Louis Blues, 1997-98), Trevor Linden (Vancouver Canucks, 1996-97), Bryan Trottier (New York Islanders, 1988-89) and Lanny McDonald (Calgary Flames, 1987-88).