We here at Hockey Wilderness receive plenty of emails from plenty of people trying to push their stories on us. PR firms pushing product, gear companies wanting attention for their fancy new sticks, movie companies wanting free publicity... any number of pitches. Most of which simply get deleted and we move on with our day. The two questions that we ask before we write the story are:
1. What's in for the readers of Hockey Wilderness?
2. What's in it for us?
Most times, the answer is... absolutely nothing.
Then, sometimes you get an email from the NHLPA about a players poll they conducted with CBC, and it catches your attention. We're not even 100% sure when the final results came out, but we had not seen them until today. So, with little else to do, let's look at some of the answers, shall we
Before we go into all of this, you can find full results, and a video explaining the process HERE.
Some of the answers were unsurprising. Zdeno Chara voted the hardest shot. He owns the record. It isn't tough to pick this one. Some were a bit surprising... Marian Gaborik is the best skater? 33% of players say so. The guy is fast, but the best skater? I think they misunderstood the question.
In the "Skills" area, the answers were not much of a reach. Pavol Datsyuk is a smart player, and tough to knock of the puck. Who knew? Henrik Lundqvist is tough to score on. Shocker.
The "Opinion" section gets fun. Nicklas Lidstrom is a good role model. Players would choose Sidney Crosby to build a franchise around. As what? GM? (Sorry, had to be done.) My favorite in this category? The players chose the Vancouver Canucks as the most overrated team. You know, the Western Conference Champions, who took the Bruins to seven games in the finals. Yeah. Overrated. The Blues were picked as the most underrated. That works for me. Great team getting no press.
Patric Bergeron received 9% of the vote for "Most Underrated." Good choice. At least the playrs were smarter than the fans who chose... Pavol Datsyuk. If you still underrate Pavol Dastyuk, you need to not watch or talk about hockey anymore.
Somehow, Dan Bylsma beat out Todd Richards for "Coach You Would Most like to Play For." Who would have thought winning would be valued by players? John Tortorella demands a lot of his players? Yeah. Sure he does. Montreal becomes the favorite arena to play in. I'm guessing Carey Price disagrees. The Blackhawks are the team most players want to play for, narrowly beating out the Wings.
Here are the two that get me:
98% of players say fighting should not be banned. Ninety-eight percent. You think fighting is going anywhere when 98% of the players want it around? Good luck with that. Keep railing against it, but you aren't going to get very far. NHLPA has to approve rule changes. You think they are going to override a 98% majority?
Coupled with that, though is the fact that 53% of players do not think the instigator rule should be removed. You know... the rule that prevents fights from having any real purpose? The rule that protects players like Matt Cooke from getting their butts handed to them by George Parros?
So we like the fighting, but only when it is completely staged and comes after clean hits. Check.
What say you, Wilderness? No Wild players on any of the lists. Agree or disagree with the choices of the players?