Brian Burke

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


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.”

‘Yotes return Dylan Strome to OHL

Dylan Strome, Nikita Nikitin
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The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.

Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.

The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.

Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.

Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.

The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.

Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.

Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.


Detroit places Datsyuk and three others on I.R.

Pavel Datsyuk,
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The Red Wings have placed Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm, Danny DeKeyser and Alexey Marchenko on injured reserve.

Placing these players on I.R. opens up four more roster spots for Detroit.

The Red Wings have suffered an incredibe amount of injuries heading into the season.

Datsyuk (ankle) is expected to be out until November.

DeKeyser (foot) is going to miss three-to-four weeks, while Helm (concussion) and Marchenko (lower-body) are considered day-to-day.

The team also announced that they have reduced their training camp roster to 27 players on Sunday.

Top prospect Dylan Larkin remains in camp for now.

Coach Jeff Blashill told reporters that the 19-year-old has looked good, but a final decision hasn’t been made on where he will play this year.

As for Larkin, he’s just fed up of living in a hotel.

“There’s been so much speculation and so many questions, and no one really knows,” said Larkin. “Maybe the coaches know, but just to find out where I’ll be living or what’s happening — I’m kind of sick of the hotel. It would be nice to know what’s going on.”