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NHL Player Poll: After Crosby, Datsyuk is the best player

Mar 16, 2012, 10:53 AM EDT

Pavel Datsyuk Getty Images

Five players from each team in the NHL were asked to pick the top five players in the league. With those results, The Hockey News was able to compile a Top 50 list. The fact that Sidney Crosby ranked number one almost goes without saying, but some might be a little surprised by the fact that Pavel Datsyuk was selected as the league’s second best player.

Datsyuk won’t beat guys like Steven Stamkos or Evgeni Malkin is a scoring race, but he has a reputation for doing everything. Datsyuk is a three-time winner the Frank J. Selke Trophy, which goes to the best forward defensively. That’s in addition to averaging nearly a point per game over the course of his career.

Claude Giroux, who is third in the NHL with 82 points, was also named the third best in this poll while Stamkos ended up in fourth place. Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews rounded out the top five.

The NHL’s current leader in points, Malkin, finished sixth overall.

Nicklas Lidstrom was selected as the best defenseman and the seventh-best player overall.

Henrik Lundqvist was named the top goaltender and 13th overall.

One of the most noteworthy snubs was John Tavares, who has broken out this season with 70 points in 71 games, but didn’t even make the top 50. Think Tavares should have been on the list? Would you have ranked Datsyuk over the likes of Malkin, Stamkos, and Giroux?

  1. sknut - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Actually at the link they have Towes 5th and Malkin 6, I would rather have Malkin over Towes but otherwise its nitpicking in the top 4.

    Kessel at 16 might be a little high and Parise at 29 a little low and no Tavares is disappointing. Also Jagr at 18 is surprising since he just came back to the NHL.

    It would be interesting to compare this list to one done by the media and see how different they might be.

  2. sportsfreak13 - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Where did ovechkin fall ( pun intended). Sorry caps fans couldn’t help myself.

  3. scoops1 - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    I have datsyuk over Crosby because datsyuk is the better all around player and he doesn’t nag to the refs like Cindy does.

    • sportsfreak13 - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:17 AM

      he talks to the refs because he’s the captain and that’s his job. Datsyk can’t do that unless the ref is Russian. Datsyuk is great Crosby is better.

      • drunkbro - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:55 AM

        you sir, are an idiot

      • sportsfreak13 - Mar 16, 2012 at 12:10 PM

        do explain. I’m not saying datsyuk isn’t amazing because he is but his English is comparable to malkins when geno used to say stuff like ” I am score”. All the Crosby haters can thumb down but the truth is the players voted him number one and I think they know more then anybody. The great ones are always hated.

    • firstandonlywarning - Mar 16, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      Scoops cried about Gretzky, Lemieux and Yzerman too

      It’s what Captains do
      Try to get a clue

  4. t16rich - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    If you’re surprised that Datsyuk is #2, then put down the NHL 12 video game and learn what hockey is all about. He is a gamer at every part of the ice. 5 on 5, PP or PK. He is magic with and without the puck.

  5. dutchman1350 - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Not a surprise…Datsyuk is a beast.

  6. me6661973 - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    Are you kidding crybaby should be in poll for this year and going over all jag temmu gezz lot old time players still playing now are way better than crybaby who only play few games. Get off his nutz screw crosby.

    • govtminion - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      Do you have an English version of this post?

    • firstandonlywarning - Mar 16, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      Wipe your nose lil boy and get your thoughts together and breath

    • icedog97 - Mar 16, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      There is a certain group of…um…hockey fans (?)…that constantly refer to Crosby as Crybaby or Cindy and seem to be haunted by visions of other people in various acts of depravity involving Crosby’s genitals. Hmmm…that’s weird.

    • kitshky - Mar 16, 2012 at 2:32 PM

      Milion dollar idea!

      An App that translates whatever is typed in to come out in “me6661973-ese” …it’ll be a hoot!

      Hi I really do love the game of hockey = Are you kidding baseball going all old fat geezers cant run forget skatez. Get off Charlies nutzz

  7. tkovacs2 - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    Tuukka Rask as the fourth goalie on this list seems like a major stretch.

    Goalies alone, Fleury, Byrzgalov, Elliott, Quick, and Jimmy Howard are all players I’d want between the pipes before Rask.

    Not to suggest Rask isn’t a good goalie, just saying I don’t think he’s the fourth best goalie in the NHL.

    • govtminion - Mar 16, 2012 at 1:01 PM

      Agreed. Rask is going to be a fantastic goalie when his day arrives to take over the B’s net (and the way Thomas is playing lately, that day could be coming next fall), but to rank him at #4 is pretty bizarre.

  8. bensawesomeness - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    It’s really nice to see Datsyuk get some recognition across the league, he hasn’t always gotten the big praise, but he definately deserves it.

  9. bleed4philly - Mar 16, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Giroux will be #1 after the season is over.

  10. lsxphotog - Mar 16, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    I think the Hockey News is probably the only media source that can do a hockey list right. However, Selanne should have been higher IMO.

  11. sjm1717 - Mar 16, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Giroux is not better than Malkin, toews, or stamkos so this list is garbage

    • firstandonlywarning - Mar 16, 2012 at 12:35 PM


      Ya WTF would the players know?

      What a moron

  12. lasallehockey81 - Mar 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    This list is garbage? You mean the list of top players put together by other NHL players who actually have to play against these guys every night? I’m now really interested in what list WOULDN’T be garbage to you.

    • lsxphotog - Mar 16, 2012 at 5:33 PM

      A list consisting of only Crosby, Malkin, Letang, Fleury, and he probably can’t name anyone else on the roster because he doesn’t know who they are.

  13. sportsfreak13 - Mar 16, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Probably one where thorton, Couture, and marleau are he top 3. Voted on by his family and imaginery friends

  14. kitshky - Mar 16, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    So Kessel is the #16th best player in the world on this list … and the most easily intimidated on another. As much as I kinda totally agree with this one and don’t see any reason to complain about it, I gotta say these lists are getting old.

    • lsxphotog - Mar 16, 2012 at 5:35 PM

      We have no idea what goes on out there on the ice. Giroux is a Chatty Cathy out there and plays very physical. Kessel doesn’t really seem to talk very much and that may translate into being easily intimidated because he doesn’t bite back.

  15. taytay099 - Mar 16, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    Some very good two-way forwards make up that top 5. I think if Stamkos was a better defensive player he would be named number 2 instead.

  16. apatheticpoetics - Mar 17, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Great to see Datsyuk and Lidstrom as the only two non-first rounders in the top nine. Neil Smith, Jimmy Nill and Ken Holland are freaking geniuses!

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