Tuesday, November 24, 2009

(NOT) The Next Great One?

1) It came to us as we watched last evening's version of The NHL network's "On The Fly" when they were discussing their winners for Trophies based upon the first quarter of the season. Now, of course we got a chuckle out of the fact that we did that last week and mentioned how silly it is. However, forgetting the inaness of mentioning such a list what struck us as one of the ass clowns(that could mean any of the panelists there) mentioned their winner of Hart Trophy (based upon the first 1/4 of the season) was Sidney Crosby. We said huh? The other panelist also went, Huh? Then it really hit us, when the guy in favour of giving the league MVP award to Crosby mentioned he was 25th in scoring!! Not that this alone would disqualify him, but it was a real shocker that the player we thought of as the next great NHL player, and the one who we felt had the best possible chance of being the next Wayne Gretzky was that far behind the leaders.

2) Now, before the insults/hate mail from Penguin/Sidney fans starts streaming in we want to first put his career in proper perspective. We have been staunch defenders of his since he entered the league, now 5 years ago. He's had detractors from day 1 looking to take 'the kid' apart due to his overwhelming publicity even before he played an NHL game. He became the face of the league following the most recent Bettman lock out. He was going to be the game's saviour. A lot to ask of an 18 year old for sure! If taken into proper perspective he's had a very good start of his career. In fact it can be argued successfully that he has had one of the best possible starts one could ask for. If his name were other than Sidney Crosby that is. How many players even are playing regularly in the NHL by age 22? In his case he's now played over 300 games and has an impressive 419 points. Additionally he can add a Hart, Ross and Pearson Trophies to his resume, in addition to being a vital cog in helping his team win a Stanley Cup. All accomplishments worthy of Hall of Fame consideration, and all before his 22nd birthday!

3) However, when put into the perspective of how does he compare with Wayne Gretzky, The Great One(TGO), how does The Next One(TNO) hold out? Yes, we understand different eras, but still it would make for a proper comparison. Through his first 4 seasons TGO had 709 points, and didn't slow down from there with several more 200+ point seasons yet to come. By this time he had 3 Hart Trophies in his soon to be massive trophy case. The significant difference is that it took TGO an additional season to win his first Cup (First of 4). TGO had an astounding 11 consecutive seasons with 100 or more assists! Meanwhile Crosby after seeming to appear to be on his way to at least coming close to that kind of production with a 100 point rookie season followed by an impressive 120 point campaign as a 19 yr old. Then he seemed to hit the cruise control, unable to get tothe next level that Gretzky was able to. Injuries, something unknown by TGO in his first 15 or so seasons, hampered Crosby in his next 2 years when he totaled an impressive, but hardly Gretzky-esque 175 points total in those combined 2 seasons.

4) Which brings us to today. Through 23 games Crosby has a decent total of 22 points. Good for 25th in league scoring and a projected total of 78 points. Yes, his team has had some injuries, but if he is supposed to be 'The Guy' he should be making the players around him better? He seems to have leveled off and become just another one of about 10 or so players who are ones to watch, but certainly nothing 'generational' in his talent by any stretch. Yes, he will probably be a first ballet Hall of Famer when all is said and done, but it doesn't appear we will be talking about Sidney Crosby a decade after he retires like we do about Wayne Gretzky. Unfair perhaps on some levels, but when you're elevated to the lofty perch of being the game's saviour you have little place to go but down.


The Dark Ranger said...

You may be right Faux...but aside from the stats, that Timbits card picture cracked me up -- I may have to link you to the site today...

Happy Turkey too.



Thanks Dark.
We'll send along your coments to FR2

Nick said...

Crosby is far from the best player in the world, and far from "the next one". He isn't even the best player on his own team, as far as I'm concerned. Malkin is that team's real first line center, and Malkin carried that team when Crosby was out in 08.

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