The NHL Players' Association has released the results of its 2019-20 player poll, and it's clear Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is still viewed as a top player by his peers.
Almost 600 players participated in the poll, and the voting took place before the league suspended the season earlier this month due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
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Bergeron finished in the top five of the results for two on-ice player categories. One of them was: "If you need to win one game, who is the one player (any position) you would want on your team?"
Here are the results:
1. Sidney Crosby, C, Penguins (44.04 percent of the vote)
2. Connor McDavid, C, Oilers (35.53 percent)
3. Nathan MacKinnon, C, Avalanche (4.11 percent)
4. Patrice Bergeron, C, Bruins (3.33 percent)
These results are hardly a surprise. Bergeron is one of the most clutch players of his era. He's one of two active players who've scored multiple goals in a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, and his heroics in Game 7 of Boston's first-round playoff series versus the Toronto Maple Leafs were incredible as well. Bergeron's trophy case is pretty impressive, and it includes a Stanley Cup ring, four Frank J. Selke trophies, two Olympic gold medals, a World Championship gold medal and a World Junior Championships gold medal, among other team and individual honors.
Whether you need a goal, a defensive shift or a faceoff win, Bergeron arguably is the most reliable player in the world.
The other category in which Bergeron appeared in the top results was, "Who is the most complete player?"
Here are the results:
1. Sidney Crosby, C, Penguins (45.56 percent)
2. Patrice Bergeron, C, Bruins (25.44 percent)
3. Aleksander Barkov, C, Panthers (7.50 percent)
4. Ryan O'Reilly, C, Blues (5.33 percent)
Bergeron's inclusion in this category was fully expected. He's the best two-way player in the league and likely will be among the finalists for the Selke Trophy (best defensive forward), an award he's won four times. The Bruins center is best known for his excellent defensive play, but he's also an elite special teams player (both on the power play and penalty kill) and an underrated scorer. Bergeron has scored 31 goals this season, giving him three consecutive years of 30-plus goals and nine consecutive non-lockout seasons of 20-plus goals.
It's uncertain when/if the 2019-20 season will resume. If it does, the Bruins will be among the top contenders for the Stanley Cup. If they make another deep playoff run, Bergeron, 34, likely will be one of the driving forces behind that success.