The Chicago Blackhawks are one of the most hated teams in the NHL by fans, but the league’s players don’t feel the same way. The NHL Players Union surveyed more than 500 players on questions about arenas, players, skills, fans and more, with the Hawks well represented at the top of many categories.
Blackhawks fans were voted the best in the league with 30.4 percent above Nashville at 19.4 percent. The United Center was also second most popular stadium to play at with 21.9 percent as Montreal’s Bell Centre had the top spot at 24.8 percent.
Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville received the most votes for “Which coach would you most like to play for?” with 16.5 percent. Quenneville, the second all-time winningest NHL coach, took the top spot above Tampa’s Jon Cooper (14.2) and Vegas’ Gerard Gallant (11.6).
Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews also had top marks. Toews was second behind Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby for “Which player is the best role model?” and “best team player.” Kane was third in most difficult player to play against behind Crosby and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and fourth in “If you need to win one game, who is the No. 1 player (any position) you would want on your team?”
Blackhawks assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson had the third-most votes for assistant that should become a head coach. Samuelsson was the head coach for Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate in Charlotte before replacing Mike Kitchen on Chicago’s coaching staff. Toronto’s D.J. Smith and Washington’s Todd Reirden were 1-2 in the category.