NHLPA Player Poll shows respect, admiration for Crosby

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

TORONTO (AP) Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is the most admired and appreciated player in the NHL, judging from the 2017-18 NHLPA Player Poll.

A survey of more than 500 players resulted in Crosby being voted the most difficult to play against, best role model, best team player, the player you'd want to win one game, and the player who would be a great coach upon retirement. Crosby finished second to Connor McDavid for which player to start a franchise with, and to Wayne Gretzky to the question of picking anyone all-time as a teammate.

Players were asked more than 20 questions, with the NHL Players' Association choosing which to publish. This is in addition to regular conversations with players on topics of importance that include feedback kept internally at the NHLPA.

Among the most interesting responses was that 77.3 percent of players are fine with the way points are decided: two for any win and one for an overtime or shootout loss. But several suggested the international point system of three for a win in regulation, two for a win in overtime or a shootout, and one for an overtime or shootout loss.

The Montreal Canadiens' Bell Centre was voted the best rink to play in and the home of the best ice, while the Florida Panthers' BB&T Center has the worst ice, according to players surveyed. Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks, who like Crosby has won the Stanley Cup three times, was voted the coach players would most like to play for.

McDavid not surprisingly was voted the fastest skater, and Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom was voted the most underrated player.

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Updated March 7, 2018

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