ESPN asked a sample of 50 NHLers a few pressing questions about the current state of the NHL for the next issue of ESPN the Magazine, and the Chicago Blackhawks ranked fairly well in a number of categories. Let’s take a look at some of the results.
What is the best franchise? The Blackhawks tied with the New York Rangers for fifth in the poll (four percent). The Detroit Red Wings ranked first, receiving 60 percent of the vote.
Who is the smarted NHL head coach? Joel Quenneville was sixth, receiving four percent of the vote. Detroit’s Mike Babcock, who won Olympic gold behind Canada’s bench, was number one.
Who has the best groupies? The Blackhawks faithful were voted third, receiving eight percent of the vote. The Montreal Canadians ranked first, and the Vancouver Canucks were second. However, from the photos of a few Hawks players in a limo from a couple months ago, I would have to say the Canucks have some work do do.
Who has the smartest fans in the NHL? The Blackhawks tied for third in this category with the Red Wings at ten percent. Vancouver received the most votes in this category.
Who will win the Stanley Cup this year? The Chicago Blackhawks received 32 percent of the vote, the top total in the poll. The Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks tied for second at 16 percent each.
One point of intrigue from the player poll was where one player showed up on two lists. Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin was the top vote recipient – 64 percent – when the players were asked who the best player in the league is (blowing away Sidney Crosby’s 24 percent). However, Ovechkin also tied for third when players were asked who the dirtiest player in the league is, behind Chris Pronger and Sean Avery.
Also interesting was that Vancouver (and gold-medal winning) goalie Roberto Luongo was voted the most over rated player in the NHL.