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Kovalev, Nash, Brown finalists for NHL Foundation award for charities

NEW YORK - Alex Kovalev of the Montreal Canadiens, Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings are being recognized for their charity work.

The three players have all been named finalists for the NHL Foundation Player Award, which honours a player's "commitment and service to charities in his community."

The NHL Foundation will donate US$25,000 to the winner's choice of charity.

Kovalev created the Kovalev and Friends Foundation for Children which sends doctors to Russia to perform operations and transfer medical knowledge.

In 2008, the Russian produced a DVD of hockey tips and skills that has raised$120,000 so far, with 100 per cent of the profits going to the Gift of Life Foundation, which provides open heart surgery for children. Kovalev himself suffered fro a heart ailment as a child.

Nash set up the 61 Club to encourage students to make healthy choices and donated $100,000 to Ohio State University to endow a scholarship for a student-athlete.

Brown has helped tackle childhood obesity. He partnered with KaBOOM, whose goal is to provide places to play within walking distance of every child in the United States. He donated $50 for each of his hits this season to raise $35,000 toward building a playground in his hometown of Ithaca, N.Y.

All three are also involved in other causes.

The winner will be announced June 18 at the NHL awards show in Las Vegas.

Last year's co-winners were Trevor Linden and Vincent Lecavalier. The award was first presented in 1998 to Kelly Chase.

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