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NHLPA poll tells us that the players love Pavel Datsyuk

Feb 19, 2012, 12:49 PM EDT

Pavel Datsyuk Getty Images

Seeing the results from a players poll on what they think about other players and points of contention around the league is fascinating. The NHLPA along with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada released the results of their annual poll today and if you think fans around the league love Pavel Datsyuk, the players have you beat by a long stretch.

The NHLPA and Hockey Night in Canada polled 250 players and found that Datsyuk was the top answer in six categories. Datsyuk was voted the smartest player, most difficult to play against, the hardest to take the puck away from, the player goalies found most difficult to stop from scoring, the toughest forward to play against, and the cleanest player to play against by the players.

Phew. That’s a lot of superlatives but it would be pretty hard to argue with the players on this one.

The Boston Bruins were well represented in the poll thanks to Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic. Chara was obviously voted as having the hardest shot and being the toughest defender in the league. Lucic was voted the toughest player in the league while Bergeron was voted most underrated.

Other curious results:

  • Henrik Lundqvist ranking out as the toughest goalie to score against.
  • Marian Gaborik rating as both the fastest and best skater in the league.
  • Dan Bylsma as the coach most guys would love to play for while John Tortorella is the most demanding.
  • The Vancouver Canucks being voted the most overrated team. Hey, who let all the Bruins vote for this?
  • St. Louis being named as the most underrated team.
  • Paul Devorski was voted as the best referee.
  • Best ice? Edmonton. Worst ice? Florida.

As for whether the league should get rid of the instigator penalty, 53-percent of the respondents said they would rather the rule stay how it is. That’s a drop of 13-percent from last year’s poll that saw two-thirds of the players say they wanted it to stick around. That’s a sizable shift of opinion and makes you wonder if the players are of the same mind as Leafs GM Brian Burke and are sick of seeing the “rats” take over the game.

  1. pavelfitzgerald - Feb 19, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Datsyuk’s a beauty. The guy does everything good & does everything right.

    • polegojim - Feb 19, 2012 at 6:42 PM

      Plus, he’s not a showboater or a whiner. He just does his job exceedingly well.

      Likeable and unstoppable.

  2. craggt - Feb 19, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    Let see, best puck handler in the NHL? Check.
    Unselfish, makes everyone who plays with him look better? Check.
    Incredibly clean? Check.

    Of course they love him, he’s who everyone in the NHL wishes they were on a line with.

  3. hockinj25 - Feb 19, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Coincidence that the Red Wings dominated the polls and they are the best team of the last 20 years? I think not

    • comeonnowguys - Feb 20, 2012 at 9:21 AM


  4. jennybabij1119 - Feb 19, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    He has been playing so great this year. The playoffs will be very interesting.

  5. mrskunitzdrippinlips - Feb 19, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    datsyuks old and washed up. pringles can malkin is 20 times better than him and detroit is such a hack team they always lose when it actually matters. bum town usa

    • polegojim - Feb 19, 2012 at 6:41 PM

      Take off troll. We saw your same comment several other places.

      If you’re going to be insulting, at least be original and make it slightly entertaining.

    • hockinj25 - Feb 19, 2012 at 7:38 PM

      “they usually lose when it mattesr”? like the 4 stanley cups they have in the last last 15 years? “hack team”? 3rd least penalties this year.

      • capsrockva - Feb 19, 2012 at 7:44 PM

        Amen to that, considering they now have the NHL’s longest winning streak @ home

    • craggt - Feb 19, 2012 at 11:19 PM

      I willing to bet a month’s salary that he’s the only one who gave himself a thumbs up.

      • cmutimmah - Feb 20, 2012 at 8:29 AM

        lol I’ll bet Datsyuk’s salary that he gave himself the only thumbs up…

        Look, if you don’t like Datsyuk’s game, then you flat out don’t like hockey. He’s a clean player that takes hit and gives them, has, by far, the best hands in the NHL, and is exciting to watch player no matter what team you’re a fan of.

        To think, at one time in “Hockeytown” there were fans calling into sports radio to trade Datsyuk because he wasn’t producing in the playoffs (in the first 3 years he went to the playoffs, he wasn’t very effective). God forbid we let players grow in this town… LOL. He and Hank have carried the torch that was handed down from Stevie Y and Shanny.

        One other note: Smartest player? That should have been Lidstrom. I’m sure he got his votes. Having the honor to watch that guy play his entire career, I think I’ve seen him turn the puck over maybe 15 times. The guy is a machine, makes good fast decisions (even at 75 years old…), and is a great quiet leader (who had huge shoes to fill in that role…). Just my opinion…

  6. mrskunitzdrippinlips - Feb 20, 2012 at 6:46 AM

    get over this home game win streak. you’ll all be crying when there on the golf course come late april.

    • oneredwingsfan - Feb 20, 2012 at 10:05 AM

      LMAO,, You are 1 funny mother frucker

  7. mrskunitzdrippinlips - Feb 20, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    stop blowing the red wings. they’re not that good. zetterburgh sucks. and datsyuk is old as dirt. they don’t compare to the youth and skill lord lemieux put together on “the franchise”. can’t wait until we bring the lemieux cup back to the city of champions this year

  8. jamesmakesurmomneil - Feb 20, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    My god, is anyone more over rated than pavel dicksyuck? This guy is the NHL version of tim tebow, only not as handsome. He has 16 goals? The pens have guys like this on the 3rd line. Bumtown USA will never compete with The Franchise

    • comeonnowguys - Feb 20, 2012 at 9:29 AM

      My IQ dropped 10 points reading this. I can only imagine what yours is.

    • comeonnowguys - Feb 20, 2012 at 9:30 AM

      Also, is this account just another meat puppet for MrsK?

    • oneredwingsfan - Feb 20, 2012 at 10:07 AM

      Dude, you really need to start watching some hockey games

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