Sports Illustrated polled 161 NHL players and asked who they thought was the most overrated player in the league. Toronto Maple Leafs captain and defenseman Dion Phaneuf received 20% of the votes putting him at the very top of the list, followed by Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals), Scott Gomez (Montreal Canadiens), Roberto Luongo (Vancouver Canucks), and Dany Heatley (Minnesota Wild). Phaneuf was drafted ninth overall in 2003 and has since been named a finalist for the Calder Trophy and Norris Trophy, but hasn’t won either.
In his first year in the NHL, he scored 20 goals, followed by two consecutive 17-goal seasons, but since then has hung around the 10-goal range (which is still pretty valuable coming from a defenseman). It’s possible that Phaneuf is at the top of this list because he plays in arguably the biggest hockey market in the world, if you exclude Montreal and a few random European countries. I don’t blame the players for getting sick of hearing his name all the time, especially when he isn’t living up to the hype. Maybe he should spend more time hitting the gym and less time canoodling with Sean Avery’s “sloppy seconds.”
But sorry, back to the real point of this story, sometimes I get a little carried away with anything that relates back to Sean Avery. What a guy. The rest of the “overrated list” continues in this order: Ilya Kovalchuk, Vincent Lecavalier, Jay Bouwmeester, Ryan Kesler, Mike Komisarek, Chris Pronger, Jarome Iginla, Alexander Semin, Olli Jokinen, and Ed Jovanovski. If this was the overpaid list, I would probably be less surprised to see certain names on here, but Ryan Kesler and Jarome Iginla overrated? I mean, stats are stats. Those guys are pretty damn talented if you ask me. On the other end of the spectrum, Olli Jokinen and Ed Jovanovski? I nearly forgot those guys were even in the NHL. But I guess the best part about this poll is that it’s done by the players, whose opinions probably carry more weight than those of the fans. Looking forward to the All-Star Draft on Jan. 26th, maybe Phaneuf will get last pick.
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