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T-Mobile Arena Named Toughest To Play In As Visiting Team In 2024 NHLPA Player Poll

Each season the NHLPA releases the results of an anonymous poll given to players on a wide variety of topics. Different Golden Knights players, the team, the city of Las Vegas, and T-Mobile Arena have named over the course of the last seven years and it happened again this season.

T-Mobile Arena was also named among the arenas with the best ice in the league, garnering 5% of the vote for 5th place. It’s the 5th year VGK’s home rink has been given this honor.

Here are the results including Vegas over the previous six seasons.

2022-23
Best Ice: T-Mobile Arena (5th place, 6%)
Best Road City: Las Vegas (1st Place, 31.7%)
Best Locker Room Guy: Phil Kessel (T-2nd Place, 2.7%)

2021-22
Best Ice: T-Mobile Arena (T-4th Place, 5.9%)
Best Road City: Las Vegas (1st Place, 30.6%)
Best Hair: William Karlsson (2nd Place, 7.9%)

2020-21
Best Goalie: Marc-Andre Fleury (2nd Place, 8.9%)

2019-20
Best Goalie: Marc-Andre Fleury (3rd Place, 8.9%)
Best Trash Talker: Ryan Reaves (3rd Place, 11.1%)
Worst Trash Talker: Nick Cousins (4th Place, 5.6%)
Best Golfer: Mark Stone (5th Place, 3.8%)
Best Visitors Dressing Room: T-Mobile Arena (2nd Place, 26.4%)
Best Jersey: Vegas Golden Knights (T-2nd Place, 6.8%)
Best Ice: T-Mobile Arena (4th Place, 8.7%)

2018-19
Best Goalie: Marc-Andre Fleury (4th Place, 6.5%)
Best TV Analyst When Retired: Ryan Reaves (3rd Place, 2.4%)
Best Trash Talker: Ryan Reaves (3rd Place, 5.5%)
Best Arena Atmosphere: T-Mobile Arena (1st Place, 42.5%)
Best Ice: T-Mobile Arena (5th Place, 4.7%)
Best Hair: William Karlsson (3rd Place, 5.7%)

2017-18
Toughest Player: Ryan Reaves (1st Place, 44.7%)
Best Coach To Play For: Gerard Gallant (3rd Place, 11.6%)

Kessel, Vegas, T-Mobile Arena Ice Mentioned In 2023 NHLPA Players Poll

Every year the NHLPA releases the results of an anonymous poll given to players on a wide variety of topics. This year, 626 players participated in the 14-question survey.

As usual, Vegas and Golden Knights players are commonly found among the results. The strongest year in VGK history in regards to mentions in the poll was 2019-20 when there were seven mentions. This year there are just three, but they are a powerful trio.

This is the second consecutive year the question has been on the poll, and unsurprisingly Las Vegas has dominated both years. Vegas actually took a larger share of the vote this year getting 31.7% while it came in just over 30% last season. 193 players out of the 609 who answered the question selected Vegas.

A pair of familiar names make the cut on this one. Kessel was selected by 12 of the 448 players polled. He’s not the only Kessel on the list either. Phil’s sister Amanda was named among the female players NHLers would most like to play with.

Finally, the ice. T-Mobile Arena has always had a stellar reputation in this category. The question has been asked four out of the last six years and T-Mobile has been in the Top 5 each and every time. This year’s 6% is the second largest share Vegas has ever received, only behind a 4th place 8.7% finish in 2019-20.

Here are all of the resuts including Vegas over the six years the Golden Knights have been in the league. You can see the full poll here.

2022-23

Best Ice: T-Mobile Arena (5th place, 6%)
Best Road City: Las Vegas (1st Place, 31.7%)
Best Locker Room Guy: Phil Kessel (T-2nd Place, 2.7%)

2021-22

Best Ice: T-Mobile Arena (T-4th Place, 5.9%)
Best Road City: Las Vegas (1st Place, 30.6%)
Best Hair: William Karlsson (2nd Place, 7.9%)

2020-21

Best Goalie: Marc-Andre Fleury (2nd Place, 8.9%)

2019-20

Best Goalie: Marc-Andre Fleury (3rd Place, 8.9%)
Best Trash Talker: Ryan Reaves (3rd Place, 11.1%)
Worst Trash Talker: Nick Cousins (4th Place, 5.6%)
Best Golfer: Mark Stone (5th Place, 3.8%)
Best Visitors Dressing Room: T-Mobile Arena (2nd Place, 26.4%)
Best Jersey: Vegas Golden Knights (T-2nd Place, 6.8%)
Best Ice: T-Mobile Arena (4th Place, 8.7%)

2018-19

Best Goalie: Marc-Andre Fleury (4th Place, 6.5%)
Best TV Analyst When Retired: Ryan Reaves (3rd Place, 2.4%)
Best Trash Talker: Ryan Reaves (3rd Place, 5.5%)
Best Arena Atmosphere: T-Mobile Arena (1st Place, 42.5%)
Best Ice: T-Mobile Arena (5th Place, 4.7%)
Best Hair: William Karlsson (3rd Place, 5.7%)

2017-18

Toughest Player: Ryan Reaves (1st Place, 44.7%)
Best Coach To Play For: Gerard Gallant (3rd Place, 11.6%)

City Of Las Vegas Garners Most Attention In 2022 NHLPA Player Poll

Sine 2017, the NHL Players’ Association releases a poll of hockey and non-hockey related questions answered by around 500 players. Vegas players have been mentioned in categories such as “best goalie,” “best trash talker,” “best golfer,” and “toughest player.” The team has also garnered attention for “best jersey,” “best ice,” and “best arena” in the past.

In 2020, Golden Knights players or the team were mentioned in the poll seven times. Last year they hit the board just once with Marc-Andre Fleury.

This year, there are three mentions of the Golden Knights and/or the city of Las Vegas.

Maybe the Vegas Flu still does exist as 158 different players voted for Las Vegas as the best city to spend an off day. (The other 358 are wrong.)

T-Mobile continues to impress with ice conditions being listed each time the question has been offered to the players. Back in 2019, however, T-Mobile received the most votes getting 42.5%, this year it dipped to just 5.8%.

And then there’s the lettuce. Karlsson in 2nd, two former Golden Knights also on the board. Gotta love it.

Here’s a link to the full poll. (There’s a “select year” dropdown on that page if you would like to see previous versions.)

Jack Eichel’s Business Sense Built For Vegas

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s rare for an NHL player to request a trade. But when you’re an upset 25-year-old franchise center being forced to undergo an undesired medical procedure, things change.

When he went to them with a trade request, they took it very personally. There are people that can say I understand that this is business and the people don’t understand that. Jack Eichel saw this is as business. –Elliotte Friedman, 32 Thoughts Podcast

Let’s face it, that type of acumen fits well with an organization that’s moved on from fan favorites, bought cap space for little return, and purchased the biggest names in the sport. We’ve learned early on in the franchise’s existence that it’s a fish or cut bait mentality. And there’s nothing wrong with that as long as they continue to make the playoffs.

Eichel had his own put up or shut up moment last offseason when he requested a trade.

The Pegualas saw Jack Eichel the same way the fans did as a US born savior of their team. When he asked for a trade they saw it as a betrayal… they were so hurt and so disappointed, I have no doubt it made the situation harder. –Friedman, 32 Thoughts Podcast

Eichel felt like he was doing his part but the Sabres organization wasn’t doing enough for him. Lack of supporting characters and a messy front office were bad enough but not allowing Eichel to chose his own medical procedure led to his cold but calculated demand.

He did a lot of research into the two surgeries and why one was better than the other and why he chose the disc replacement. It was almost like he was saying I earned the right to the make the decision. –Friedman, 32 Thoughts Podcast

In 375 games with Buffalo, Eichel registered 139 goals and 355 total points. Not only did he earn the right to make decisions but the Sabres ownership backed that up by offering an $80M extension in 2017. After handing over large sums of money like that, it would suggest the Sabres wanted Eichel to have a voice in the organization. The player felt it was taken away by barring him from a selective surgery or his choice.

Eichel credited all of his agents, I think over the last couple of weeks Brisson and Berry really turned up the heat. They knew they had a really unhappy client and they were turning up the heat anyway they could. –Friedman, 32 Thoughts Podcast

On top of his high end skill that will undoubtedly win Vegas more hockey games it’s the possibility of handling a pressure filled boardroom organization like the Golden Knights. Eichel has proven he’s willing to pause his career for what’s best for himself. Not many players would’ve held steadfast like the newest Golden Knight but he put himself first and the team second. And that’s completely fair.

However, when the surgery is done and his neck has healed, Eichel is strictly in the business of winning a Stanley Cup.

Marc-Andre Fleury Lone Golden Knights On NHLPA Players Poll

Once a year, since 2017, the NHL Players’ Association puts out a poll of questions answered by about 500 current players. Historically, the Golden Knights, Vegas, and T-Mobile Arena have been all over these polls, but this year, there was just one mention of VGK.

That honor went to Marc-Andre Fleury for the prestigious category of “Who is the best goalie?

Fleury actually garnered fewer percentage of votes this year than he did a year ago but he passed Carey Price for the first time in poll history and rose to #2 on the list, the highest he’s ever been.

Fleury voting by year
2020-21 – 8.88% (2nd)
2019-20 – 8.93% (3rd)
2018-19 – 6.53% (4th)
2017-18 – Unranked

Last year, the Golden Knights were on the board seven different times including four player mentions. This year, Fleury is the lone Golden Knight listed, albeit on a much shorter list of questions.

Former Golden Knight Nikita Gusev cracked the list coming in 3rd place for the “most unique tape job.” Meanwhile, the Reverse Retro jersey that everyone seems to love despite it looking like a leotard was NOT listed among the top seven Reverse Retro unis.

Finally, and maybe the most interesting piece of the poll, was the fact that 292 players said they prefer the “series style” schedule the NHL used this season. About the same amount were also in favor of returning to the normal divisions, which is happening next season.

Player opinions will always be outweighed by financial ones, but the positivity towards the series-style schedule certainly may lead to it making a return in the near future. It’s unlikely we’ll see it next year, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it’s back at least in some fashion in 2022-23.

**You can read the whole NHLPA Players Poll here.**

VGK All Over 2019-20 NHLPA Player’s Poll

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Every year the NHL Players Association (NHLPA) conducts a poll among more than 500 players asking a wide-ranging variety of topics.

In the Golden Knights’ first season there were just two mentions of Vegas related items in the poll. Last year that number jumped to five. This year takes the cake with seven total Golden Knights mentions.

We’ll start with the team related ones. First, in a bit of a surprise, the Golden Knights were voted to have the second-best jersey in all of the NHL.

Last year T-Mobile-Arena was voted as having the best atmosphere in the league. This year that category was left off, but that didn’t keep Vegas away from the arena related items.

The best individual honor received by a Golden Knight went to Marc-Andre Fleury.

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Out Of Shape Already?

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s been two and a half weeks since the Golden Knights last suited up. Their 3-2 overtime victory in Edmonton was their final game before the league pause.

You miss two weeks without doing anything, your wind goes, your legs go. They’re not nearly the same. Not like an NHL player needs to be. Two weeks is probably the most they can miss, and then it becomes a real hard struggle to get back in a hurry. -Pierre McGuire, TSN Montreal

Established players hit camp around the second week of September, and their first game isn’t until early October. That allows them plenty of time to get the rust off, build endurance, strength, and prepare for a lengthy 82-game season. Most, if not all, are ready to get back to work by camp because they’ve been training and playing scrimmages with other NHL’ers. I’m sure you’ve heard of Da Beauty League or the Comm Ave Classic.

Outside of injuries, players rarely spend two weeks or more off the ice during a normal NHL season. So why is it that easy for players to lose their condition after all of the hard work they put in the offseason and regular season?

Two weeks if they haven’t done anything. A lot of guys will tell you if you miss five days it’s tough to get it back right away. It takes two or three (games). Usually after two weeks players start to lose whatever they had built up to this point during the regular season. It becomes really difficult to get it back on the track. -McGuire

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