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Burke says anonymous player polls are “designed to crap on fellow NHLPA members”

Jan 11, 2012, 5:28 PM EDT

Brian Burke AP

Sports Illustrated has released its findings from an anonymous poll of 161 NHLers, asking who is the league’s most overrated player.

The winner (or maybe loser)?

Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf. Number one with a bullet.

While not entirely surprising — Phaneuf was voted most overrated in 2010 as well — the news wasn’t taken well by Phaneuf’s boss, Brian Burke. The Leafs GM not only railed on Phaneuf being named most overrated, but also anonymous player polls and those participating in them.

“Yes, players dumb enough to participate in polls designed to crap on fellow NHLPA members are not very bright,” Burke told the Toronto Star. “They can all go defecate in their chapeaus. I am thrilled to have both players [Mike Komisarek was 10th on the list] on my team.

“And by the way? Anyone who wants to tell Dion that in person should fly to Ottawa in about two weeks.”


Ignoring Burke for a moment, let’s check out SI’s complete list of the most overrated NHLers:

1 — Phaneuf
2 — Alex Ovechkin
3 — Scott Gomez
4 — Roberto Luongo
5 — Dany Heatley
6 — Ilya Kovalchuk
7 — Vincent Lecavalier
8 — Jay Bouwmeester
9 — Ryan Kesler
10 — Komisarek
11 — Chris Pronger
12 — Jarome Iginla
13 — Alex Semin
14 — Olli Jokinen
15 — Ed Jovanovski

For the record that’s three Flames, two Capitals, two Canucks and two Leafs on the list, suggesting that if any GM should have beef with anonymous player polls, that GM is Jay Feaster.

As for what these poll results really mean?

“A very simple answer for an anonymous poll,” said Leafs assistant GM Dave Poulin, “is that people tend to vote for players they don’t like to play against.”

  1. davebabychreturns - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Uhh hey Brian, isn’t the fact that Dion’s going to be in Ottawa in two weeks (by virtue of being voted the second best most popular defenseman in the league by fans) proof that he has a huge reputation to live up to – not that he is actually living up to it?

    That being said, I am definitely going to be advising a few people to “defecate in their chapeaus” in the next few weeks.

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:34 PM

      Sigh.. so I guess site doesn’t like strike () tags either. That should read “by virtue of being voted the -best- [ie. with a strikethrough] most popular defenseman in the league”…

  2. taytay099 - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Surprised Luongo and Semin aren’t 1 and 2.

    • prorockm - Jan 12, 2012 at 9:55 AM

      Semin – Love or hate him, he has the best shot in the league, hands down.

      • jpelle82 - Jan 12, 2012 at 10:25 AM

        lol…maybe if you are judging best shot that misses the net, hands down

  3. jason9696 - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Scott Gomez should be 1, 2 and 3. He is by far the most overpaid player in the league.

    • stakex - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:32 PM

      I was not aware that Gomez was highly rated to begin with.

  4. bcjim - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    How could Gomez *possibly* be overrated? Who thinks he is good.

    List is ridiculous. First of all asking NHL players anything that requires thought is a mistake. How many of them finished 12th grade?

  5. dhillca - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    I agree with Brian
    This is no different than Jets players anonymously crapping on Sanchez

  6. baddorange - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Envy and jealousy rear their ugly head. Syupid poll anyway. Should have surveyed fans as well.

  7. baddorange - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Envy and jealousy rear their ugly head. Stupid poll anyway. Should have surveyed fans as well.

  8. charlutes - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    That’s a list of stars sooo not very insulting to be on it.

    Over rated is just code for big contract and not hot at the moment.

  9. hooockey - Jan 11, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Shut up for once, Burke!

    Must he have an opinion on EVERYTHING?

    What a f’n blowhard attention wh***

  10. danphipps01 - Jan 11, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    Looks like the rest of the NHL takes Ovi about as seriously as his numbers imply they should. Not sure why Gomez is up there. He wasn’t that highly-regarded to begin with. Phaneuf’s showing signs of returning to the form that got him all that attention in the first place – one wonders if he’ll continue on that trend or just fade back into mediocrity. Semin should be higher. Pronger’s two years removed from gold in the Olympics and hasn’t slowed down much, so I’m a hair confused about his presence here. Likewise Iginla. Olli Jokinen’s not paid that much, nor is much expected from him, so how he’s overrated when he’s performing quite a bit better than a lot of guys in his income range just baffles me.

    Conclusions: NHLers are… perhaps not the cleverest bunch, are they?

  11. finfan88shark - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    This poll has to be a joke. How can it not include two of the biggest underachievers in hockey. Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton.

  12. ikillchicken - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    In order to be “overrated” one must first be highly rated. This leads me to ask: Does anyone seriously consider Ed Jovanovski to be a highly rated player anymore? Half a decade ago maybe but not any more.

  13. prorockm - Jan 12, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    This list makes no sense at all and where the hell are Crosby and Fluery?

    • jpelle82 - Jan 12, 2012 at 10:29 AM

      not on it…they are good

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