The NHL Players Association released the results of its annual survey on Wednesday. More than 600 players on the circuit answered 14 questions, both serious and fun. Who is the toughest Guardian? The most complete striker? The best defender?
If no Canadian player appears in the results of the survey this year, the Bell Center remains the most popular amphitheater for players. When asked “Which NHL arena has the best rink?” “, the Montreal establishment obtained 35% of the votes, far ahead of Rogers Place in Edmonton (14.7%), the Canada Life Center in Winnipeg (10.3%), the Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota (8, 6%) and the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (6%).
Among skaters, the name Connor McDavid appears most of the time. The Edmonton Oilers captain also won the title of the forward who would have the “most impact in a game that you absolutely have to win”; 59.3% of players gave it their vote. Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby follows with 11%.
On the goalkeeping side, Andrei Vasilevskiy is ahead of all his counterparts when asked “If you only had one game to win, which goalkeeper would you want on your team?” “. Far behind follow Igor Shesterkin and Marc-André Fleury.
Not surprisingly, Cale Makar is seen as the league’s “best defender” with 63.9% of the votes. Otherwise, many of the results are the same as last year: Patrick Kane retains his title as top stick handler, while Leon Draisaitl remains the top passer, and Sidney Crosby continues to be the most complete player. Quebecer Patrice Bergeron follows Crosby in this last category.
Again, Brad Marchand is named as the “player you hate to face the most, but wish you had on your team”, followed by McDavid. At 38 and with 17 seasons in his pocket, Dallas Stars forward Joe Pavelski is the skater who “has the biggest impact around the goal,” while Aleksander Barkov is the “most underrated player.”
Again this year, Quebecer Marie-Philip Poulin is considered the best player in the world. No less than 112 of the respondents (27.9%) say she is the player with whom they would most like to share the ice. American Hilary Knight follows with 20.7% of the vote.