THN: "Sid the King"

Lesedauer: ca. 2 Minuten

56% aller NHL-Spieler halten gemäß einer Umfrage der nordamerikanischen

Eishockey-Fachzeitschrift "The Hockey News" den 19-jährigen Sidney

Crosby für den derzeit besten Spieler.

They might not be able to

rattle off the names of all the players in the league the way they did back in

the old six-team NHL.

But today’s NHLers know a

good thing when they see it. That has not changed.

The majority of players

polled by The Hockey News – 56 per cent –named super sophomore Sidney Crosby

the best player in the NHL this season. Also, 76 per cent of players polled

chose him as the player they would build a franchise around.

San Jose’s Joe Thornton was second in the best player category (eight per

cent) while last season’s rookie of the year, Alexander Ovechkin of the

Capitals, was second amongst players to build a franchise around (15 per cent).

“Aside from the great

talent he possesses, the thing that distances him from the other great players

in the league is his competitiveness,” says Rangers right winger Brendan

Shanahan, a player who shares Crosby’s passion

for the game and drive for success.

“We have so many great

players who have amazing talent, but what Sidney

has is second, third and fourth effort. He refuses to be denied. People used to

describe what made Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux so great, and it was that

same competitiveness that Sidney


Crosby’s ascent of the throne has been remarkable and rapid. The

19-year-old grabbed the NHL scoring lead Dec. 13 and hasn’t looked back. When

he scored his 28th goals (and 98th point) of the season March 2, Crosby became the youngest player in NHL history to reach

200 points in his career. He did it at 19 years and 207 days, bettering Wayne

Gretzky’s mark of 19 years, 347 days.

It couldn’t have really

come as a shock to Crosby that he would emerge

as the players’ player of choice, but he was flattered nonetheless.

“It’s huge,” Crosby says. “Especially coming from guys you play against.

To have their respect means a lot to me.”

Informed of Crosby’s double honor, Penguins first-year GM Ray Shero

joked, “Did I get picked luckiest general manager?”

Shero knows he is fortunate

to be running a team blessed with the league’s best player, plus a rising star

in Evgeni Malkin. Let’s not forget Jordan Staal, who is barely 18 and set a

rookie record with seven shorthanded goals.

Crosby, though, is the show. And everybody knows it.

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