Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Anonymous NHLPA poll released

Chris Pronger hasn’t skated since Nov. 19 in Winnipeg, yet he’s still gaining recognition as one of the NHL’s toughest defensemen to play against. That’s according to a NHL Players Association anonymous poll, which was released in accordance with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.

Anonymous NHLPA poll released

Chris Pronger hasn’t skated since Nov. 19 in Winnipeg, yet he’s still gaining recognition as one of the NHL’s toughest defensemen to play against. That’s according to a NHL Players Association anonymous poll, which was released in accordance with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.

The poll, with a wide range of topics introduced, was conducted by an NHLPA staff member with 257 current players. The results were then passed along to CBC.

Among the things we learned about the Flyers:

  • The Flyers are not among the 6 teams most players would like to play for
  • Claude Giroux is smart and underrated
  • Jaromir Jagr is hard to steal the puck from
  • Ilya Bryzgalov is not among the 6 goaltenders toughest to score on.

But we already knew that last one.

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Here’s the full poll results:

SKILLS:
Who has the hardest shot?

Zdeno Chara (Boston) – 59%
Shea Weber (Nashville) – 33%
Sheldon Souray (Dallas) – 2%
Alexander Ovechkin (Washington) – 1%

Who is the best skater?
Marian Gaborik (N.Y. Rangers) – 33%
Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh) – 9%
Patrick Marleau (San Jose) – 6%
Duncan Keith (Chicago) – 5%
Darren Helm (Detroit) – 5%
Phil Kessel (Toronto) – 4%

Who is the smartest player?
Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit) – 45%
Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh) – 16%
Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroit) – 15%
Jonathan Toews (Chicago) – 4%
Claude Giroux (Philadelphia) – 3%
Henrik Sedin (Vancouver) – 2%

Who is the toughest player?
Milan Lucic (Boston) – 20%
Zdeno Chara (Boston) – 17%
Shawn Thornton (Boston) – 11%
Brian McGrattan (Nashville) – 7%
George Parros (Anaheim) – 4%
Matt Carkner (Ottawa) – 4%

Who is the most difficult player to play against?
Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit) – 26%
Zdeno Chara (Boston) – 19%
Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh) – 9%
Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh) – 7%
Jonathan Toews (Chicago) – 4%
Shea Weber (Nashville) – 3% 

Who is the hardest player to take the puck from?
Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit) – 47%
Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh) – 10%
Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh) – 9%
Jaromir Jagr (Philadelphia) – 6%
Joe Thornton (San Jose) – 3%
Rick Nash (Columbus) – 2% 

Which goalie is the most difficult to score on? (For shooters only)
Henrik Lundqvist (N.Y. Rangers) – 38%
Pekka Rinne (Nashville) – 19%
Tim Thomas (Boston) – 16%
Carey Price (Montreal) – 5%
Mikka Kiprusoff (Calgary) – 3%
Jimmy Howard (Detroit) – 3% 

Which player is the most difficult to stop? (For goalies only)
Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit) – 24%
Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay) – 12%
Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh) – 12%
Alexander Semin (Washington) – 12%
Nathan Gerbe (Buffalo) – 6%
Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh) – 6%

Who is the fastest skater?
Marian Gaborik (N.Y. Rangers) – 32%
Michael Grabner (N.Y. Islanders) – 26%
Darren Helm (Detroit) – 10%
Erik Cole (Carolina) – 5%
Phil Kessel (Toronto) – 4%
Patrick Marleau (San Jose) – 3% 

COACHES:
Which coach would you most like to play for?

Dan Bylsma (Pittsburgh) – 21%
Joel Quenneville (Chicago) – 11%
Dave Tippett (Phoenix) – 8%
Mike Babcock (Detroit) – 8%
John Tortorella (N.Y. Rangers) – 7%
Todd McLellan (San Jose) – 4%

Which coach demands the most of his players?
John Tortorella (N.Y. Rangers) – 59%
Darryl Sutter (Los Angeles) – 8%
Ken Hitchcock (St. Louis) – 8%
Mike Babcock (Detroit) – 7%
Dan Bylsma (Pittsburgh) – 3%
Brent Sutter (Calgary) – 2% 

Which current assistant coach should be the next head coach?
Brad Shaw (St. Louis) – 7%
Dave Cameron (Ottawa) – 6%
Doug Houda (Boston) – 6%
Dave Lewis (Carolina) – 5%
Craig Ramsey (Florida) – 5%
Tony Granato (Pittsburgh) – 4% 

OPINIONS:
Who is the most underrated player?

Patrice Bergeron (Boston) – 9%
Jamie Benn (Dallas) – 6%
Loui Eriksson (Dallas) – 6%
Claude Giroux (Philadelphia) – 3%
David Krejci (Boston) – 3%
David Backes (St. Louis) – 3%

Which current player is the best role model?
Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroit) – 23%
Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh) – 20%
Jonathan Toews (Chicago) – 10%
Jarome Iginla (Calgary) – 9%
Shane Doan (Phoenix) – 7%
Daniel Alfredsson (Ottawa) – 5%

Who is the cleanest player to play against?
Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit) – 26%
Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay) – 13%
Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroit) – 13%
Ray Whitney (Phoenix) – 5%
Henrik Zetterberg (Detroit) – 4%
Kyle Wellwood (Winnipeg) – 4%

Who is the toughest defenseman to play against?
Zdeno Chara (Boston) – 61%
Shea Weber (Nashville) – 12%
Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroit) – 6%
Chris Pronger (Philadelphia) – 3%
Brooks Orpik (Pittsburgh) – 3%
Douglas Murray (San Jose) – 1% 

Who is the toughest forward to play against?
Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit) – 25%
Milan Lucic (Boston) – 15%
Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh) – 13%
Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh) – 9%
Alexander Ovechkin (Washington) – 3%
Zach Parise (New Jersey) – 2% 

Which team is overrated?
Vancouver – 24%
Toronto – 18%
Washington – 15%
N.Y. Rangers – 9%
Ottawa – 4%
Pittsburgh – 4% 

Which team is underrated?
St. Louis – 28%
Nashville – 20%
Ottawa – 11%
Florida – 11%
N.Y. Islanders – 10%
Toronto – 5% 

Who is the best referee?
Paul Devorski – 19%
Kelly Sutherland – 15%
Wes McCauley – 13%
Don VanMassenhoven – 9%
Stephen Walkom – 6%
Kyle Hehman – 6%

ARENAS AND TEAMS:
What is your favorite rink to play in?

Bell Centre (Montreal) – 33%
United Center (Chicago) – 17%
Madison Square Garden (New York) – 7%
Joe Louis Arena (Detroit) – 6%
Air Canada Centre (Toronto) – 5%
TD Garden (Boston) – 5%

Which rink has the best ice?
Rexall Place (Edmonton) – 47%
Bell Centre (Montreal) – 15%
Joe Louis Arena (Detroit) – 10%
Rogers Arena (Vancouver) – 5%
MTS Centre (Winnipeg) – 5%
Scotiabank Saddledome (Calgary) – 3%

Which rink has the worst ice?
Bank Atlantic Center (Florida) – 18%
Tampa Bay Times Forum (Tampa Bay) – 11%
Honda Center (Anaheim) – 11%
Staples Center (Los Angeles) – 8%
Madison Square Garden (New York) – 8%
American Airlines Center (Dallas) – 6%

Which team would you most like to play for?
Chicago – 14%
Detroit – 13%
Boston – 11%
Toronto – 8%
Montreal – 6%
Tampa Bay – 5%

ON-ICE:

Should the instigator rule be abolished?
No – 53%
Yes – 47%

For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers



About this blog
Frequent Flyers is your home for news and analysis of all things orange and black. Reach Frank at seravaf@phillynews.com.

Frank Seravalli Daily News Staff Writer
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