Skip to content

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.

Latest Posts
  1. Video: Red Wings’ fans show support for Gordie Howe

    Oct 31, 2014, 9:06 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 5.53.51 PM

    Folks continue to rally around Mr. Hockey.

  2. Video: Josh Manson, son of former pugilist Dave Manson, expected to make NHL debut

    Oct 31, 2014, 8:13 PM EDT

    Josh Manson, Daniel Maggio AP

    He’s on the left in that photo. Doing what his old man used to do.

  3. Markstrom falls short of AHL shutout record

    Oct 31, 2014, 7:36 PM EDT

    Jacob Markstrom Getty Images

    Has been on quite a roll down in Utica.

  4. Fallen Leaf: Lupul (broken hand) out indefinitely

    Oct 31, 2014, 7:04 PM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs v New York Islanders Getty Images

    Meanwhile, sounds like Carter Ashton makes his season debut.

  5. Bolts reassign Paquette, Callahan to return?

    Oct 31, 2014, 5:36 PM EDT

    Ryan Callahan Getty Images

    Could play Saturday against Washington.

  6. Bruins coach praises Sabres, who ‘came to play’

    Oct 31, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    At the same time, Claude Julien admits the B’s “are still trying to find that confidence level that comes with winning on a regular basis.”

  7. Sabres GM can ‘start thinking more about’ Zadorov situation now

    Oct 31, 2014, 3:10 PM EDT

    Nikita Zadorov Getty Images

    “I just haven’t come to that decision yet.”

  8. ‘Svenmania’ a distant memory as Flames’ Baertschi struggles in the AHL

    Oct 31, 2014, 1:57 PM EDT

    Sven Baertschi AP

    Former 13th overall pick doesn’t want to comment on trade rumors.

  9. Agent: Vanek was not ‘involved’ in money laundering

    Oct 31, 2014, 1:21 PM EDT

    Thomas Vanek, Jan Hejda AP

    “He was the bettor. He bet on football games.” And that, according to Steve Bartlett, is all he did.

  10. With healthy Rinne, Preds off to great start

    Oct 31, 2014, 12:52 PM EDT

    Pekka Rinne Getty Images

    We’d say we were surprised, but we totally thought this could happen.

  11. Sounds like Semin will be a healthy scratch Saturday

    Oct 31, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT

    Alexander Semin, David Perron AP

    Hurricanes forward was benched Tuesday in Vancouver.

  12. Even after big changes, Isles still struggling defensively

    Oct 31, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT

    New York Islanders v Colorado Avalanche Getty Images

    “We’ve given up a lot of goals and we need to be better, help our goaltenders out.”

Featured video

Worst team in the NHL?

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. C. Crawford (3375)
  2. E. Staal (2884)
  3. A. Kopitar (2767)
  4. M. Gaborik (2629)
  5. E. Kane (2493)
  1. P. Stastny (2489)
  2. N. Foligno (2144)
  3. V. Nichushkin (2086)
  4. D. Heatley (2061)
  5. V. Hedman (2054)