By description, the NHL Foundation Award goes to the player "who applies the core values of hockey - commitment, perseverance and teamwork - to enrich the lives of people in his community". By knowledge, we all know finalists Mark Giordano, Brent Burns, and Henrik Lundqvist were all equally deserving.
There can only be one winner, though, and it was Burns, not Giordano.
Though Giordano does make significant charitable contributions, both in Calgary and abroad, judges ultimately decided to go with Burns' own admirable efforts.
Burns, known for his Wookie-like appearance, is one of the goofier players in the league, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a heart of gold as well. He gives back to his community via several military organizations, such as Defending the Blue Line, Operation: Care and Comfort, and Folds of Honor.
He has branched out even further by focusing on additional organizations - of note, the San Francisco Zoo (he's a huge animal lover) and Katie Moore Foundation (as a friend and former teammate of Dominic Moore) - via his own fundraiser, Burnzie's Buzzcut. Burns has gained notoriety throughout the NHL with his wild hair and beard, but he'll get rid of them all to raise money for causes he's passionate about, and he'll rope his teammates in along with him. That's pretty awesome.
While Giordano's own efforts of improving education and brightening the lives of children in Calgary through both efforts with the Flames and his own Team Giordano, not to mention his "5 for 5" partnership with Habitat for Humanity to build homes around the world, are as important as Burns' work, they weren't enough to win the NHL Foundation Award.
That's perfectly alright though, as what's important is he, Lundqvist, winner Burns, and other NHL players who weren't finalists but still make similar contributions to their world still do them.
Professional sports are about entertainment, but considering their elevated stature, they need to be about giving back, as well. So congrats to all the NHLers who do just that, but in particular, congratulations to Brent Burns. With his victory, the NHL Foundation has also donated $25,000 to the charity of his choosing.