BOSTON (CBS) — Generally speaking, hockey players are a fairly honest bunch. It’s never too difficult to force an opinion out of them. But give them the benefit of anonymity, and you’re going to get some really pure unfiltered thoughts and opinions from the best players in the world.
That is what hockey reporters from The Athletic did, polling 198 NHL players on all sorts of topics. From a Boston perspective, one result stood out more than most.
When asked who the best all-around player in the league would be, 48 percent of respondents chose Sidney Crosby, followed by Connor McDavid at 25 percent.
After that, though, the player who received the most votes was Patrice Bergeron, at 11 percent. Nobody else received more than 4 percent of the votes.
It’s not necessarily surprising, considering Bergeron’s been in the league since 2003 and has established a well-earned reputation as the best 200-foot player of his generation. His work has certainly been appreciated in Boston, but the voting results of the anonymous players shows that Bergeron is well-respected around the NHL as well.
Another poll question that’s sure to entertain Boston fans came when players were asked to name the most overrated player in the NHL. The overwhelming winner there was none other than P.K. Subban, who received 23 percent of the votes. Patrik Laine was second, but he only received 9 percent of the votes, and Aaron Ekblad (6 percent) was the only other player to receive more than 4 percent of the vote.
One unnamed player said of Subban: “He’s got a good shot and that’s about it.”
Also of note: 60 percent of players think that the NHL should change its playoff format, and 99 percent of respondents said that NHL players should be playing in the Olympics.