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Burke says anonymous player polls are “designed to crap on fellow NHLPA members”

Brian Burke

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke addresses the media during a news conference in Toronto on Tuesday April 12, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)


Sports Illustrated has released its findings from an anonymous poll of 161 NHLers, asking who is the league’s most overrated player.

The winner (or maybe loser)?

Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf. Number one with a bullet.

While not entirely surprising -- Phaneuf was voted most overrated in 2010 as well -- the news wasn’t taken well by Phaneuf’s boss, Brian Burke. The Leafs GM not only railed on Phaneuf being named most overrated, but also anonymous player polls and those participating in them.

“Yes, players dumb enough to participate in polls designed to crap on fellow NHLPA members are not very bright,” Burke told the Toronto Star. “They can all go defecate in their chapeaus. I am thrilled to have both players [Mike Komisarek was 10th on the list] on my team.

“And by the way? Anyone who wants to tell Dion that in person should fly to Ottawa in about two weeks.”


Ignoring Burke for a moment, let’s check out SI’s complete list of the most overrated NHLers:

1 -- Phaneuf
2 -- Alex Ovechkin
3 -- Scott Gomez
4 -- Roberto Luongo
5 -- Dany Heatley
6 -- Ilya Kovalchuk
7 -- Vincent Lecavalier
8 -- Jay Bouwmeester
9 -- Ryan Kesler
10 -- Komisarek
11 -- Chris Pronger
12 -- Jarome Iginla
13 -- Alex Semin
14 -- Olli Jokinen
15 -- Ed Jovanovski

For the record that’s three Flames, two Capitals, two Canucks and two Leafs on the list, suggesting that if any GM should have beef with anonymous player polls, that GM is Jay Feaster.

As for what these poll results really mean?

“A very simple answer for an anonymous poll,” said Leafs assistant GM Dave Poulin, “is that people tend to vote for players they don’t like to play against.”