During the Penguins-Buffalo game on NBC Saturday, analyst Pierre McGuire called Sidney Crosby the most disrespected player in hockey. The complete quote:
“This guy’s career has been amazing, and not enough people show enough respect. He’s the most disrespected player in our game in terms of star power. I really believe it.”
That’s a bold statement. But McGuire is 100 percent right.
Crosby is the best player of his era, and one of the top 5 players of all time. That isn’t said often enough, or unequivocally enough.
There are way too many latter-day disclaimers: “What about Jonathan Toews’ great leadership?” or “Connor McDavid’s numbers are amazing, and his speed is electric.”
There are no disclaimers: Crosby is top 5 ever, period. The best player of his era, period.
Toews has 489 less points than Crosby. Crosby has three Cups; McDavid has won one playoff series. Those comparisons are like equating Dom Perignon to Diet Coke.
McDavid may get more points now. He's not a winner, and not a better 200-foot player. Crosby might be the NHL's MVP this season, at 33.
If you don't say Crosby is top 5 ever, with no disclaimer - that translates to disrespect, like McGuire said.
Consider Crosby's numbers, and the Penguins' success over his tenure. How did he only win two regular-season MVPs? That = disrespect.
My top 5 hockey players ever:
- Mario Lemieux
- Bobby Orr
- Wayne Gretzky
- Sidney Crosby
- Gordie Howe
You can rank the top three in any order, and I won't argue. You can flip Crosby and Howe, and I won't argue