Brian Burke

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

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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.”

/pwned

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.”

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)