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:
If the players think Alex Ovechkin is overrated, they have no one to blame but themselves – they gave him the Pearson/Lindsay three times.
— JapersRink (@JapersRink) January 11, 2012
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.
* 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?