For another season, the NHLPA’s several hundred active members were baited and cornered into answering questions about the best and worst belonging to their own pro hockey fraternity.
Even more so than last season, the annual exercise in heaping praise on the game’s best shone the spotlight brightest on Connor McDavid. He was named the NHL’s best forward, the league’s most difficult player to play against and, while widening the gap considerably over Sidney Crosby, the player that 60 percent of the league’s population would tab to start a franchise with.
The NHLPA did not pick out specific skills or intangibles like “toughness” and “role model” to debate the importance of this time around, and the findings were mostly predictable, but the poll did offer a few things of note.
Crosby still in his own class. It’s just well below McDavid.
As much as McDavid dominated the more glamorous categories included in the poll, Sidney Crosby distinguished himself too in finishing a clear second in all three sections belonging to the Oilers’ captain.
To rate so highly still, Crosby is still obviously highly respected by his peers. His performance on the poll did slip from last year, though, when he edged McDavid as the most difficult player to play against.
Sid’s only “win” this time around? The player most likely to become a GM.
Is Vegas’s rink the NHL’s best?
Proximity to the strip alone would give T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas a pretty clear advantage when contemplating the NHL’s best atmosphere.
More of a surprise to T-Mobile Arena leading in terms of arena experience? The ice quality in Vegas.
Finishing fifth behind four cold-weather buildings located in Montreal, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Minnesota is quite impressive given the arena’s location, but maybe more so when considering the constant change required in that building to accommodate the events that tour through.
Swedes have the salad
With four of the top five vote getters for best hair, there seems to be a pretty distinct advantage to having Swedish roots.
More fodder for Marchand
In the near 12 months since licking Leo Komarov, I think it’s safe to say that Brad Marchand has made some significant strides.
Less of a reptile on the ice and now doing his trolling predominantly on his newly-created social media channels, Marchand has maintained a passable standard in behaviour and is, I dare to say, developing some oddly-effective Brad Marchand charm.
Anyway, in being voted the NHL’s best and worst trash talker, Marchand had every reason to hit “Tweet” again Wednesday.
Feeling so honored right now all those years of hard work has paid off!! Want to thank everyone who has supported me in this journey to best and worst trash talker and all my work colleagues around the NHL couldnt have done it without you! @NHLBruins @NHL @NHLPA pic.twitter.com/ofAj1DNFod
— Brad Marchand (@Bmarch63) March 20, 2019
Do we have Ron all wrong?
There’s a real sense of indifference whenever Ron Hainsey approaches a scrum.
Perhaps the two percent that voted him as having the greatest potential as a T.V. analyst have knowledge we don’t, or it’s just a successful troll job from inside the Leafs room.
I’d lean toward the latter.
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