By Chris Block
Jonathan Toews, Joel Quenneville and the Chicago Blackhawks organization scored high in this year’s NHLPA Player Poll.
318 players submitted answers to the annual questionnaire, written by the staff of Hockey Night in Canada and the National Hockey League Player’s Association.
Joel Quenneville, who some Blackhawks fans were screaming to have fired as little as eight days ago, saw his league-wide player approval rating in the “Coach players would most like to play for” category increase from 6 percent in the 2010-11 player poll to 11% this season. Quenneville placed second to Pittsburgh’s Dan Bylsma, who again received 21% of votes cast in the category.
In last year’s poll, 11% of players indicated the Chicago Blackhawks as the team they would most-like to play for, putting the Blackhawks in a tie for second with the Vancouver Canucks. This time around the Blackhawks received the most votes supplanting the Detroit Red Wings who topped the category a year ago. 14% of players responding indicated the Blackhawks were the team they’d most-like to play on. Detroit slid into second-place with a slight drop at 13% of the votes. Boston came in 3rd taking 11% of the votes, also the biggest one-year jump of any NHL team. Read more
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Tagged Alexander Ovechkin, Bell Centre, Brad Shaw, Canucks, Dan Bylsma, Dave Cameron, Duncan Keith, Fighting, Hockey Night In Canada, Instigator Rule, Joel Quenneville, Jonathan Toews, Kelly Sutherland, Marian Gaborik, NHL, NHLPA, NHLPA Player Poll, Nicklas Lidstrom, Paul Devorski, Pavel Datsyuk, Players Poll, Quebec City, Rexall Place, Shea Weber, Sidney Crosby, United Center, Zdeno Chara
Less than half of current NHL players recently participated in a voluntary poll presented by the National Hockey League Player’s Association and the CBC television network in Canada. Of the 318 players who did return surveys, 11% identified the Chicago Blackhawks as the team they’d most-like to play for. And 7% choose the United Center as their favorite arena to play in.
Duncan Keith, the reigning Norris Trophy award winner, finished 5th in the category of toughest defenseman to play against. Keith received three percent of the votes in that query. Patrick Sharp ranked 3rd in the most-underrated player category, tied with New Jersey center Travis Zajac with each receiving 3.5% of votes. That’s something of an arbitrary category. Frans Nielsen, who got the 2nd most votes for most-underrated, is a sneaky-skilled player but he’s not in the league of Sharp or Dallas Stars winger Loui Eriksson, who led the voting by a slim margin over Nielsen (5 goals, 16 assists, 43gp).
In Joel Quenneville, the Blackhawks have the league’s 5th most desired coach, according to players polled. Quenneville received 6% of votes tallied, behind Guy Boucher (8%), Dave Tippett (8%), Mike Babcock (18%) and Dan Bylsma (21%). Bylsma was obviously aided by how well he came off in the HBO 24/7 series.
Here’s the entire list of questions and top vote getters: Read more
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Tagged Alex Ovechkin, Barry Trotz, Blackhawks, Brent Sutter, Canucks, Capitals, Dan Bylsma, Darren Helm, Duncan Keith, Dustin Byfuglien, Henrik Sedin, Henrik Zetterberg, Joe Louis Arena, Joel Quenneville, Mike Keenan, Mikka Kiprusoff, Nicklas Lidstrom, Patrick Sharp, Pavel Datsyuk, Predators, Red Wings, Roberto Luongo, Shea Weber, Sidney Crosby, Tony Granato, United Center