Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Sidney Crosby is one special kid!

Sidney Crosby

In case you missed it, gave up on NHL hockey, or live in Whitney Houston’s Crack Den, Sidney Crosby became the youngest player ever to score 100 points in a season with his 3-assist effort against the New York Islanders last night besting the mark set by Dale Hawerchuk. Unlike Hawerchuk, Crosby plays in an era where a 5-4 game isn’t considered a low-scoring affair, making Crosby’s achievement all the more impressive.

You may be tired of the Sidney Crosby hype, one you may be of those Anti-Crosby playa haters, or just numb to just how special this feat really is. Well, give yourself a smack, foo’, and bow down and frickin’ worship!

Most 18-year old players never even make the NHL, much less come in and instantly establish themselves as one of the very best players in the game. They are too busy learning how to shave and drive and staving off the advances of 14-year old puck bunnies.

Just compare Crosby to his other peers who played in the NHL at 18.

Jaromir Jagr - 80GP 27-30-57
Ilya Kovalchuk - 65GP 29-22-51
Rick Nash - 74GP 17-22-39
Patrice Bergeron - 71GP 16-23-39
Marian Gaborik - 71GP 18-18-36
Nik Zherdev - 57GP 13-21-34
Eric Staal - 81GP 11-20-31
Vincent Lecavalier - 82GP 13-15-28
Justin Williams - 63GP 12-13-25
Joe Thornton - 55GP 3-4-7 (!!)
Gilbert Brule - 7GP 2-2-4

Oh, and how many NHL points did Alexander Ovechkin score as an 18-year old? That’s right, HE DIDN’T GET ANY!

As you can see, many of the other 18-year olds were happy getting their proverbial skates wet and trying to fit in as regular contributors. Crosby? He’s a dominant offensive player and hasn’t had any trouble adapting, apart from some on-ice hissy fits.

If Crosby can score 100 points at this young of an age, imagine the carnage and devastation that King Crosby will leave in his wake when he’s in his prime at 25?

As for the overall Calder race, my top 6 pretty much mirrors that of most sane mortals:

1. Alexander Ovechkin
2. Sidney Crosby
3. Henrik Lundqvist
4. Dion Phaneuf
5. Andrej Meszaros
6. Brad Boyes

That’s a pretty impressive All-Rookie starting lineup that you could build a good team around. There is no doubt, in my mind, that Ovechkin takes the Calder in a cakewalk. He’s put up more points and goals than Crosby, done so with a weaker supporting cast (not that Crosby has had a great cast for the last 40 games), and done so with a lot more flash and dash. As much of a Crosby fanboy as I might be, I know Sidney just doesn’t deserve the Calder as much as Alex does.


Of course any other year and Sid the kid could safely put the Calder on his mantel (if Mario gave him a fireplace in his room).

Doesn't the fact that he is 2 years younger than Ovechkin and that he has never played in a pro league garner him any extra points?
The scary thing about the Hawerchuk record is that Ducky didn't get a whole lot better. He was pretty much a finished product at 18. If you look at the guys who had poor numbers at 18 then took off, it's the bigger players (Thornton, Staal). Sid is about the same size as Hawerchuk...
I think this year NHL should present TWO Calder Trophies cos both Ovechkin and Crosby surely deserve it. It'll be fair and right decision and it would be a great publicity for a whole league.
Age doesn't matter when awards come out. Rookies are rookies if they are 18 or 24. We can speculate about how many more points Crosby could have if he was 20, but we can't ever prove how many he would have. We can only judge this award by their play on the ice.

Gretzky never won the Calder, either, so the NHL and Crosby will be OK.

As for the big vs small argument: Big players do tend to take a lot longer to develop (though Rick Nash developed quickly), but Crosby is a far more special player than Hawerchuk was. It is weird how Hawerchuk never really did a whole lot better than his rookie year..
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