If you were to poll every single fan base around the National Hockey League and you asked them which player in the league was truly the best all around player in the game you would get dozens upon dozens of different answers. Not only are at least some of the metrics for such a title entirely subjective but fan bias would heavily come into play with fans of every team likely choosing their favorite local players. Would anyone really be shocked if a fan of the Edmonton Oilers named Connor McDavid? Or if a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins named Sidney Crosby? Or if a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs named Auston Matthews? You see the point.
That question however takes on an entirely different significance and an entirely different level of interest when it is not the fans you are posing it to, but the players who play in the National Hockey League themselves. This week The Athletic released the results of a 6 week long survey that they conducted including nearly 200 NHL players from across the league and I must admit that the survey yielded some really interesting results. The players were asked which man they felt constituted the best all around player in the National Hockey League today, and surprisingly the results were not all that close.
In what can only be described as a one-sided landslide Penguins captain Sidney Crosby walked away in first place with a whopping 48% of players polled naming him as the top dog in the game today. When you consider that literally any player would have been eligible to be named here it is a true sign of how much the players around the league respect Crosby's skills on the ice.
Rounding out the top 5 were Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid in second place with only 25% of the vote. For some context although there is an obvious debate regarding which player, Crosby or McDavid, is better, nearly twice as many players voted for Crosby over McDaivd. In third place was highly respected Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron with 11% and both Florida Panthers star Aleksander Barkov and Tampa Bay Lightning star Nikita Kucherov each claimed 4% of the vote.