Sidney Crosby: NHL Player Poll Proves Crosby Is King!
The debate over which NHL player reins supreme received plenty of ammunition this weekend when the NHLPA and Hockey Night in Canada conducted a poll of 318 current NHL players with regards to hockey issues, coaches and their peers.
Questions ranged from which rink had the best ice (Edmonton) to which coach you’d most want to play for (Dan Bylsma- Pittsburgh Penguins), but in the end, there was really only one question that mattered most- what player would you build a franchise around?
The overwhelming response was none other than Sidney Crosby, who received a whopping 69% of the vote.
Surprisingly, Alexander Ovechkin was a distant fourth, receiving a puzzling 2% of all votes, behind Jonathan Toews (3%), Steven Stamkos (5%) and veteran defenseman Nik Lidstrom (6%).
Crosby, was also voted the toughest forward to play against , the games smartest player and best role model by his peers. That’s pretty high praise for a player that many Crosby haters have suggested is nowhere near the best player in the world, don’t you think?
Ovechkin did get the nod by NHL goaltenders as the toughest player to stop, but given Ovechkin’s lackluster scoring prowess this season, the masked men may be mistaken.
To my surprise, many Ovechkin fans had the audacity to suggest that Ovi was, in fact, the best player on the planet, ignoring a rash of statistics and facts that suggested otherwise.
Ovechkin backers often regurgitate the great eight’s scoring abilities as the reason he should be selected the King of hockey.
Crosby backers (and rightfully so) often remind those that side with Ovechkin of Crosby’s Stanley Cup win, Olympic Gold medal, superior points per game average and, of course, the intangibles, such as leadership, smarts and the ability to continually evolve your game, which Crosby has done.
Good coaching and video replay have played their parts in making Ovechkin seem like a mere mortal this season. The results of which have caused Ovechkin to have his worst offensive season in recent memory and by season’s end, maybe the worst offensive season of his career.
Truth be told, what separates Crosby from Ovechkin is probably Ovechkin’s inability to evolve as a player. Ovi was a goal scorer when he came into the NHL and, while he is struggling to light the lamp this season, he will likely leave the NHL as a goal scorer (not that there is anything wrong with that, but once the goal scoring dries up, what have you got?).
While other NHL players are happy to be what they are, Crosby is always looking for a new wrinkle, a new move or a new strategy so as to make himself and the players he goes to war with better.
Crosby’s ability to evolve as a person and player help to make him the most complete player on the planet.
The proof is in the pudding or, in this case, in the poll results. Crosby may not be the most difficult player to stop (and there will be plenty of debate about that I am sure), but when push comes to shove, NHL players spoke loudly when 69% said they would want to go to war with Crosby over anyone else.
If the debate wasn’t over, it sure as heck is now, Crosby is King, just ask the players…after all, they are the true experts!
Until next time,