It’s a down season for the Chicago Blackhawks on the ice, but players around the league still hold the team, and the city, in very high esteem.
According to a new poll conducted by the NHL Players’ Association, Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville is the man that the most players in the league would want to play for, receiving 16.5 percent of the vote in the thorough poll.
Quenneville’s coaching staff also got some love, as 5.1 percent of players think that assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson should get a head coaching job. That number is third-best in the NHL according to the survey.
According to NHL players, the Blackhawks also have the best fans in the league, getting 30.4 percent of the vote. That likely helped the United Center to a second place finish in the rankings of the league’s best arenas, finishing just behind Montreal’s Bell Centre in that category.
In terms of their ranks among their peers, a couple of Blackhawks players stood out. When asked to name the most difficult player to go up against, Patrick Kane finished third, behind Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid.
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews also was named in three different rankings, including a second-place finish in the ranking of the best team players in the league. Toews also finished second among best role models, finishing behind Crosby, and fourth among players to start a franchise with, as Crosby, McDavid, and Toronto’s Auston Matthews finished ahead of him.
Over 500 players took part in the survey, which was conducted during annual NHLPA meetings held in January by each of the league’s 31 teams.