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Phaneuf voted most overrated player in NHL player poll

TSN.ca Staff

1/11/2012 8:06:16 PM

Despite the fact the Toronto Maple Leafs are currently sitting in a playoff spot, their captain Dion Phaneuf isn't getting much love from his peers around the league.

Sports Illustrated polled 161 NHL players asking them to name the most overrated player in the league and Phaneuf topped the list.

Joining Phaneuf were Alex Ovechkin (second), Scott Gomez (third), Roberto Luongo (fourth) and Dany Heatley (fifth).

Phaneuf wasn't the only Leaf to be named to the unflattering list, as teammate Mike Komisarek came in 10th.

"Yes, players dumb enough to participate in polls designed to crap on fellow NHLPA members are not very bright," Leafs general manager Brian Burke told the Toronto Star. "I am thrilled to have both players on my team.

"And by the way? Anyone who wants to tell Dion that in person should fly to Ottawa in about two weeks," Burke added.

Ottawa is the site of this year's NHL All-Star game where Phaneuf will appear after being one of six players voted in by the fans.

Phaneuf is sixth among defencemen in total goals and points this year, with seven goals and 28 points points on the season and his point totals makes him the third highest scoring Leaf behind Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul.

The news is nothing new for Phaneuf, who was voted the most overrated by a similar Sports Illustrated poll in 2010.

"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."

Rounding out the top 10 in the Sports Illustrated poll were Ilya Kovalchuk (sixth), Vincent Lecavalier (seventh), Jay Bouwmeester (eighth), Ryan Kesler (ninth) and Komisarek. In addition to Bouwmeester, the Calgary Flames also had Jarome Iginla and Olli Jokinen on the list at 12th and 14th, respectively.