Ahhhh yes, it’s that time of year again! The time of year when we reflect on what this NHL season has taught us. Which players broke out? Which players broke down?
Each year, the NHLPA adds an extra little activity that never fails to draw interest. They ask over 500 NHL players to submit answers to a 15-question survey, and then they anonymously post the results for hockey fans to analyze.
On Wednesday, the NHLPA released the 2021-22 results. Fans – as you would expect – had opinions.
1. Goaltender you want with the game on the line – Andrei Vasilevskiy
Fan reaction: This one is generally agreed upon by most. While some are beginning to toot the horn for Igor Shesterkin, Vasilevskiy’s ability to come through in the clutch is unmatched.
2. Player you want on your team in a must-win game – Connor McDavid
Fan reaction: Nobody denies Connor McDavid’s brilliance, but some fans brought up the point that he has not had much success in playoffs. Additionally, other fans thought Hart candidate Auston Matthews’ being omitted from the Top 5 was wrong. Other fans decided not to overthink it, and simply agreed with the McDavid win.
3. Best stick handler – Patrick Kane
Fan reaction: Fans generally don’t mind this pick. Kaner’s mitts are nasty! There were a few other mentions from befuddled fans.
4. Best passer – Leon Draisaitl
Fan reaction: First BIG discrepancy of the polls. While Drai’s talent is undeniable, fans believe there were a few omissions from the list. Maybe more than a few…
5. Most complete player – Sidney Crosby
Fan Reaction: A lot of people agreeing with the pick, but some fans pointing out other ‘new guard’ players that aren’t quite as experienced as Sid.
And Victor Hedman…
6. Best ice to play on – Bell Centre
Fan reaction: Seeing as most NHL fans have not skated on NHL ice, let alone every NHL arena, there isn’t much reaction here. Bell Centre is, no question, one of the legendary barns in the league.
7. Player you least like to play against – Brad Marchand
Fan reaction: An elite talent, an elite pest. We don’t even need to give the fan reaction, this one is just true.
8. Best women’s hockey player – Marie-Philip Poulin
Fan reaction: No surprise here. Poulin constantly comes through in the clutch, and she plays with the grit and personality that hockey fans absolutely love. Captain Clutch takes the dub.
9. Best NHL road city to spend a day off in – Vegas
Fan reaction: Not much fan reaction, but we don’t doubt this to be true. Vegas is America’s playground, and it’s also the 2nd newest city to join the league. So much to do, so much to discover!
10. NHL player that could make it in another sport – Joe Pavelski (golf)
Fan reaction: No fan reaction here, either. It’s a tough one, guys.
11. Best hockey hair – Cody Eakin
Fan reaction: Hard to argue with this. Eakin has some of the most unique lettuce in the league. Saying that, there were some other suggestions flowing in.
12. Best social media follow – P.K. Subban
Fan reaction: Subban is easily one of the most active NHLers on social. For some, that’s a win, for others, it’s annoying. Either way, it’s hard to argue when NHL players socials are typically… shall we say… dry.
13. Best NHL role model – Sidney Crosby
Fan reaction: The poll wasn’t even close, with Sid clocking in at 42.7% and the next highest – Patrice Bergeron – coming in at 9.8%. The fan reaction was mostly fans just agreeing – Sid is the guy to look up to.
14. Non-NHL player you would like to trade places with for a day – Tom Brady
Fan reaction: Not much fan reaction here.
15. Best shot – Alex Ovechkin
For some reason the NHLPA didn’t tweet this one out, but fans still reacted. Overall, it’s hard to argue with Ovi’s shot, but there was one other players that had fans talking.
There you have it, another poll in the books! Do you agree with the selections?
Let us know @BarDown!