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Poll reveals best NHL player, goaltender, etc., as chosen by fellow players

Tim Tucker   ·   20 janvier 2020
The Athletic has revealed results of a poll of NHL players where they chose many of their best, and worst, from around the league. Some of the results are surprising, some not so much. In all, 400 players were polled from all 31 teams in the league. Let's get right to some of the results.



Who is the best player in the game?

This was an absolute runaway. The results aren't even close. 63 percent of those who answered said Edmonton's Connor McDavid is the best player in the game at the moment. Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon was a distant second at 17 percent, while Sidney Crosby was third with 15 percent. The surprising part of this question is that in the same poll last year, Crosby was the winner with 48 percent of the vote. Has the torch been officially passed?

Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final – Aside from your own goalie, who do you want starting in goal?

There was a clear favourite here, but not quite the runaway that Connor McDavid was. Despite some recent struggles, Montreal's Carey Price wins this one with 33 percent of the vote. Marc-Andre Fleury of Vegas takes second with 23 percent, while Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy takes third with 11 percent. Price won this category last year, as well.

Who is the most underrated player?

For the second year in a row, players chose Florida's Aleksander Barkov with 22 percent of the vote. Coming in at second is teammate Jonathan Huberdeau with nine percent, while Washington's Nicklas Backstrom takes third with eight percent. Perhaps playing in Florida has someone to do with Barkov and Huberdeau being underrated.

"(Huberdeau) had 92 points last season and no one knew about it – not even me till I looked it up!” a Metro Division player said.

Who is the dirtiest player in the league?

You probably know which players are taking the top two spots here just by reading the question. First overall is Boston's Brad Marchand at 29 percent, while Washington's Tom Wilson takes second with 24 percent. Calgary's Matthew Tkachuk takes the third spot at 11 percent.

“Marchand can do some shady s--t.” — a Pacific Division player.

“Let’s go with Brad Marchand. He’s a little prick.” — a Metro Division player.

“It’s disgusting what the league lets Marchand get away with. He’s got no respect for anybody. Makes me sick.” — a Central Division player.

Who is the best defensive defenseman?

That's a bit of a tricky questions but with 17 percent of the vote, Victor Hedman of Tampa Bay takes the top spot. Montreal's Shea Weber is second at 10 percent and, with six percent, the third spot goes to the Lightning's Ryan McDonagh and Calgary's Mark Giordano.

Which player, not on your own team, would you most like to have a beer with?

Was there ever any doubt? With 14 percent of the vote, Washington's Alex Ovechkin ranks first in this question. Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Sane Jose's Joe Thornton are tied for the next two spots at 12 percent each. Ovi earned his reputation well with what seemed like a never-ending party after the Capitals won the Stanley Cup in 2018.

Do you pay attention to advanced stats?

There are only two answers on this one, yes or no. No wins by a landslide with 86 percent. Apparently NHLers aren't into advanced stats at all. Here are some of the responses:

“F--k no,” said an Atlantic Division player. “I think they’re stupid.”

“I don’t even pay attention to normal stats,” said a Pacific Division player.

“I don’t know enough about it to pay attention,” said another Atlantic player. “It’s more like accounting, I have somebody for that. Leave it up to them.”

From a Pacific Division player who said Yes: “I think they have a place. I don’t think you can look at any one and say, ‘This guy’s a good player or this guy isn’t.’ There has to be context in everything.”

You can see several more questions and responses from The Athletic by clicking here.
SURVEY
Which scenario would you prefer if the NHL season restart?
END OF REGULAR SEASON + PLAYOFFS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH 16 TEAMS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH MORE TEAMS
IT'S BETTER TO CANCEL THE SEASON
QUIZ ON TRADERUMOURS
image
How many sides does a nonagon have?
10
19
8
9
SURVEY
Which scenario would you prefer if the NHL season restart?
END OF REGULAR SEASON + PLAYOFFS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH 16 TEAMS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH MORE TEAMS
IT'S BETTER TO CANCEL THE SEASON