There are a multitude of topics that are highly debated among hockey fans every year. Each year, fans and analysts debate who the best and worst players are, which team has the best fans, and other various topics.
Earlier today, the NHLPA released a player’s poll in which 500 players around the league were asked various questions about various topics around the NHL. This poll was conducted between the preseason through early January. The results are very interesting, as some of the opinions of the players likely differ from what the fans think.
Let’s go through some of the highlights of what the players think on various topics:
SIDNEY CROSBY AND CONNOR MCDAVID DOMINATE A LOT OF CATEGORIES
Crosby and McDavid dominate a lot of categories in this players’ poll. Crosby’s leadership skills and on-ice dominance in all areas are recognized by his peers. McDavid’s high end speed on the ice was noticed tremendously by his peers, as he dominated that category under “Skils.” Crosby and McDavid are two of the best players in the world, so there is no surprise they are recognized highly among their peers.
BRIDGESTONE ARENA IN NASHVILLE IS A GREAT VENUE FOR PLAYERS
A small market team like Nashville has made it big in the NHL. Bridgestone Arena was ranked in the top 5 among the players on “favorite rinks to play in.” The players also voted Nashville as having some of the “best fans” in the NHL. Nashville is one of the NHL’s newer franchises, so this is impressive considering they beat out many of the Original 6 teams in the NHL. Nashville’s building is very loud every night, and the fans are interacting at various points in the game. The Predators have a tough home-ice ice advantage!
NICKLAS BACKSTROM IS UNDERRATED
He often hides in Alex Ovechkin’s shadows, but Nicklas Backstrom’s hard work on the ice does not go unnoticed among his peers. Backstrom is one of the league’s best passers, but he is also an excellent 2-way player and defender. Backstrom is a player that is well-rounded, and is a player that is well-respected by his peers.
SHEA WEBER IS STILL A TOP DEFENSEMAN
The 32-year old British Columbia native had his season cut short due to a foot injury, but he is still highly recognized among his peers as a tough defenseman to play against. While he is not the most popular player among the analytics crowd, Weber still brings a physical presence to the ice and he has tremendous leadership qualities.
The NHL points system has been a hot topic for the last few years now among fans. Over 77% of the players are happy with the current point system, but the article does mention that some of the players recommended a 3-point system as an alternative.
By: George Foussekis
Niklas Backstrom is one of the three best passers in the NHL, and despite occasional lapses is also an able defender…That said, to me, he doesn’t merit mention in the same breath as either Crosby or McDavid. In addition to making their teammates better, the latter two are also dynamic scorers who are close to unguardable. The same can’t be said about Nick who, in contrast, disappears frequently enough to disqualify him as a star as far as I’m concerned.
Is he a good player? Well, yes…But there are too many games when I don’t even know Backstrom’s on the ice—only he never gets castigated for it by Joe Benninati, Tariq Al Bashir or anyone else in the local media–let alone by his coach Barry Trotz who seems to feel that the sun rises and sets on him…
Give me the Nick Backstrom who scored 33 goals and dished off for 68 assists in 2009–not the impostor whose scoring totals since then have gone down every single year from ’09 until the present with just one exception (2016-17, if memory serves…). If he produced LIKE THAT every season then he’d deserve all the hype he gets as a so-called quiet superstar…Frankly, I think that some of the reason he escapes censure even when he actually deserves it is because he’s poker faced, good looking and (too) unselfish…
Apperantly actual players disagree. They did not say he was the same caliber as Crosby and McDavid. They said he was most underrated.
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