Sports Illustrated recently asked 161 NHL players a simple question: who’s the most overrated player in the League? They then compiled a slideshow of 15 names, which you can see here.

We’ll discuss it below. For now, here’s the order of the list:

15. Ed Jovanovski
14. Olli Jokinen
13. Alex Semin
12. Jarome Iginla
11. Chris Pronger
10. Mike Komisarek
9. Ryan Kesler
8. Jay Bouwmeester
7. Vincent Lecavalier
6. Ilya Kovalchuk
5. Dany Heatley
4. Roberto Luongo
3. Scott Gomez
2. Alexander Ovechkin
1. Dion Phaneuf (20% of the vote)

Well alright then.

First off, you have to take the jealousy/general hatred factor into consideration. In Ovy’s case, I’d say there’s some jealousy that has surrounded his status in the League (which over the past few years has been that he and Sidney Crosby are the undisputed best players in the NHL). In Phaneuf’s case, I’d say he’s just pissed off a huge number of guys throughout his years in the NHL. Also, it might be because he is, y’know, a touch overrated, but we’ll leave that alone.

Oh, and as @JapersRink pointed out on twitter:

Oh yeah, that. Good point.

My biggest takeaway from this list: over 50% of the guys on it play for Canadian teams (8 of 15). Those are the guys who are getting the most airtime, the most attention, and the most love from fans. They’re the guys that get watched the most. It’s easiest for their profiles to swell beyond realistic bounds because of that.

Where are the other guys from? Philly, Washington, New Jersey… Not exactly hidden NHL markets either. I put the most stock in the names Heatley, Jovonovski and Lecavalier, because to think of those names from teams in smaller markets, you have to figure players really believe they’re are overrated.

Another couple thoughts:

* What in God’s name do NHLers think we think of Olli Jokinen? Dude has been killing it for the past 20 games (over a point per), and I call him downright awful a number of times a year. He might be underrated at this point, as much as I hate to admit it.

* Jay Bouwmeester is also not rated that highly, guys.

* Jarome Iginla? Jarome Iginla. The 34 year old with 500 goals pushing 40 points halfway through the season. Got it. What a bum.

* Chris Pronger may be a number of choice words, but overrated ain’t one of them. Any team would kill to have him.

* I cannot believe Ryan Kesler is on this list. I know it’s no secret that he’s a great player at this point, but you’d think that a 40 goal season and a Selke would be proof enough that, however high his rating is, he’s not too far off it.

And last…

* Not a bad break for Ilya Kovalchuk that one of the people who overrated him was negotiating his contract, hey?

***

Dion coming in at the number one spot is not a huge surprise, but a number of the other names are. Was anyone left off it that you think should be included?

Comments (23)

  1. Worth noting that they published the underrated list a few days ago: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/1201/nhl.players.poll.most.underrated/content.1.html

    Makes the results clearer.

  2. drew doughty, maybe even PK subban…..and i’m a habs fan

    • Yeah definitely PK. He’s young enough to learn to play actual defense but right now he is overrated.

  3. Completely agree with Dion being first

    • Maybe that’s because you don’t know what you’re talking about.
      Dion is over-rated until he crushes you coming up the wall. Haters gonna hate.

      • So 20 % of NHL’ers are haters who gonna hate?? I would guess that you are on of the many Leafs fans wearing strong blinders gonna blind.

  4. How is mike Komisarek over rated. He has a bad contract but everybody is aware of that. He isint well liked by fans in Toronto. Doesnt make much sense on that one either

    • Lingering effect, perhaps? It wasn’t too long ago that SI had a list of “toughest players in the history of NHL” or something to that effect and they listed Komisarek alongside guys like Gordie Howe.

      The same residual effect might apply re Bouwmeester; a guy I know kept hammering at me until about a year ago that he was a superstar defenseman and I was nuts for not agreeing.

  5. I’ve got a theory about Jokinen… Do NHLers really pay that much attention to stats, especially ones for other teams and other conferences?

    That, and the dude sucked it out when he played for the Rangers.

  6. It’s all strictly jealousy. I’d like to hear the reasoning behind some of those choices.

  7. Mark Messier’s “leadership” skill has to be the most overrated CONCEPT in the NHL. Dude guaranteed a playoff victory over the Devils, who finished below them in the standings, and this insane legend was born. Let’s face it, if the Rangers (league’s best record) hadn’t won, it would have been a huge disappointment. And then he went to Vancouver, who had just made the playoffs, and “led” them to seasons of 77, 64, and 58 points and missed the playoffs each year. Then he went back to New York, to a team with the league’s highest payroll, and GUARANTEED they would make the playoffs, which they didn’t do. In fact, they never made the playoffs again as long as he was there. Granted, it’s not totally his fault the Rangers didn’t make the playoffs, but on a team stacked with talent his leadership sure didn’t will them into the playoffs either.

    • Hopefully this doesn’t start drama, but….I agree. Heard this from a few NHL alums too.

      • Plus he helped push out the most beloved player in Vancouver history (Trevor Linden). Dude demanded the number 11 jersey that had been off limits since Wayne Maki’s death from brain cancer in 1974. And we did make the playoffs once with him.

        Yeah, I’m still bitter : )

  8. Drew Doughnuty in LA is my #1.

    Erik Johnson in COL = worst #1 overall pick since DiPietro or Stefan..

    PK Subban is up there, if he didn’t play in Canada, would anyone know his name?

  9. Is this a list of 15 players who’s contracts people consistently point out as terrible? That would make more sense. I am pretty sure people consistently rag Luongo for letting in soft goals. How can he also be overrated? Same goes for Gomez.

  10. Imagine that. 3 flames and 1 former. Thanks Daryl Sutter!

    • How Iginla is on this list at ALL is mind-boggling. He’s been one of the classiest and consistently BEST players in the league for over a decade. Calling Iggy overrated is nothing short of lunacy IMO

  11. In my opinion this is more of a who’s overpaid list from si. Say this because I don’t believe NHLers put too much stock in the perceptions projected by media or general public.
    On that basis, the si list is pretty much right on, but I would add these two;

    Martin Erat – never more than 60 pts and a total ghost in the post season
    Leino – $6 mil per after 1 decent post season. Dude has 3 g this year. Sweet move Regeir

    Komisarek is too easy. Nobody in the league beats the puck to death harder than Mike, lack of imagination is glaring and at 6,4 240 surprisingly can’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag. So overpaid it’s gross.

    Luongo is an easy target as well. Schneider is a better goalie and who ever plucks him from Van will look like a genius.

    No way Pronger should be on the list, all he’s ever done is help take his teams deep in the playoffs.

    Keep up the good work Bourne, enjoyable stuff.

  12. I know they have some hardware to dispute my claim, but I’m still pretty sure both Sedin’s are overrated.

  13. i think phaneuf should beup there, hes been good this year but you have to factor in his salary, same goes for ovechkin and kovalchuk. Bouwmeester should be higher as he has never lived up to his contract. Iginla shouldnt be on the list, and joikinen i would have agreed with but hes getting 3mill and putting up solid numbers for his pay. Getzlaf, cammalleri, horcoff should be ahead of most of these players

  14. It’s Hilarious that Chris Pronger is on this list. He may be a douche, but he’s still one of the best defensemen to play ever. I think Phaneuf is inconsistant, the reason he’s so overrated is because he has had moments where it looks like he will be incredible, but then plays like balls the next night.

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