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Gretzky calls Crosby the “best all-around player in the game”

Mar 10, 2013, 11:13 AM EDT

Sidney Crosby Getty Images

Wayne Gretzky may be on the outside of the NHL for now, but when he gives his opinion on players in the game today people listen.

After seeing Sidney Crosby dazzle against the Maple Leafs leading the Penguins to a shootout victory, The Great One gave Pierre LeBrun of his thoughts on Sid the Kid and, as you might expect, they were glowing.

“But in my mind, I don’t think there’s any question Sidney Crosby is the best all-around player in the game. His hockey sense is so strong and so solid, combined with his God-gifted talent of being able to see the ice, see the entire picture in front of him. And, most importantly, I don’t care how good you are, if you don’t have a work ethic, it doesn’t matter. There’s no question that each and every game, he’s one of the hardest-working guys on the ice. In my mind, he’s the best player in the game today.”

It wasn’t so long ago that Gretzky called Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg the best player to come out of Sweden so No. 99 isn’t shy about his opinions.  Calling Crosby the best all-around player is a new take though.

Crosby’s not really known for his defensive skills the way guys like Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, and Ryan Kesler are. Maybe that’s the next trick in the bag for him to master.

  1. killerpgh - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    This story should lead to some fun comments.

    • dangle13x - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:38 AM

      Agreed it should lead to some gems. And while I don’t even disagree with Gretzky necessarily, the fact that the writer chose to bait fans with Detroit being irked comment shows how unprofessional this ragtag group of “journalists” really are.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - Mar 10, 2013 at 1:40 PM

        You can base your opinion on any player you want to compare Sid too, for poops and giggles I’ll use Ovechkin ! Ovechkin is not even in the same stratosphere as Crosby ! Crosby meshes all his top skills with a team concept ! To go off center a little pardon the pun a great player always needs a good wing man and Chris Kunitz could play for me any day !

  2. ironcity6pak - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    And let the Crosby haters sound off. What you got to say when the former best player on ice names 87 the best player on ice.

    • dangle13x - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      “what you got to say” I have to say that Wayne is entitled to his opinion, and everyone else to their own. That’s like Michael Jordan saying Kobe is the best when EVERYONE else would say Lebron is the best. I’m a Wings fan, and I do think Crosby is one of, if not the best. Pavel Datsyuk is right there with him. Zetterberg is solid but he is not the same level as Sid and Pav (and Malkin for that matter). Argue however you choose.

      • 2jivecrew - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        Nobody would say that Lebron is better than a Kobe in his prime. Yeah, he’s better than the aging version he competes against now. But Kobe was a killer in his prime. Lebron has never been that guy. And never will be.

      • jimeejohnson - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:45 PM

        2jivecrew: the jive part is the only thing right about you and your stupid comment.

      • brett1058 - Mar 11, 2013 at 7:01 PM

        while datsyuk & zetterburg are great players I would take crosby & malkin over them any day of the week for sure.

    • elrock7 - Mar 10, 2013 at 6:13 PM

      I like Crosby and agree with Gretzky, but the only thing that matters is Stanley Cups, so it doesnt really matter.

  3. dangle13x - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Leave it to bottom feeder PHT blog writers to lead with trolling comments. That’s just priceless.

    • elrock7 - Mar 10, 2013 at 6:15 PM

      yet you still read them

  4. mpg44 - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    It’s true …. Who else can play AND cry like him!!

    • 2jivecrew - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      You’re little “crying” jab is about 4 seasons out of date. 4 or 5 years ago you would have had a point. Even Chris Pronger said the other day it’s a thing of the past. Try again.

  5. odj810 - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    He is the best. He can do it all at crazy speeds. He makes plays noone else can.

  6. govtminion - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    Gretzky might be right, but I’d have to include a few others as being right on Crosby’s heels- it’s not like the ’80s where it was Gretzky, Lemieux, and everyone else was several paces behind them. Right there with Crosby you’d have to look at (in no particular order) Datsyuk, Malkin, Stamkos Giroux, Toews… hell, after seeing his play in Russia during the lockout, there’s still obviously the talent to include Alex Ovechkin, if not the motivation anymore in North America.

    Rather than argue about who’s best, I’m pretty pleased to be able to look around and realize how lucky we all are to be able to enjoy a plate of good players the way we get to right now. Lockouts and such aside, I’m not sure the league has ever had such a wide variety of talent as it does right now.

    • crosberries - Mar 10, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      Giroux hahahahahahahahahahahaha. Who is he again?

      • willgarner - Mar 10, 2013 at 4:10 PM

        Oh you forgot? Giroux’s the guy who knocked Crosby the f.uck out, scored less than 30 seconds later, and basically single handedly showed the Penguins where to find the couch for the rest of the playoffs last year.

      • jpelle82 - Mar 10, 2013 at 4:31 PM

        giroux’s got a long way to go. he’s had one good season so far and he wasnt even the best that one season so…

      • ironman721 - Mar 10, 2013 at 4:33 PM

        Giroux better get of his “couch” or the flyers won’t make the playoffs.

      • crosberries - Mar 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

        Haha exactly the only thing someone has to defend giroux is that he hit Crosby and scored. How many stories do you have like that since he’s become captain or done anything worth talking about?

      • pens5829 - Mar 10, 2013 at 9:58 PM

        Willgarner: You do realize that defenseman Kris Letang has more points (in four less games) than Giroux this year? The greatest player on the eastern side of PA…

      • mario66sid87geno71 - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:17 AM

        Giroux is the Captain of a sinking ship! It’s a shame he can’t play without Jagr. No shots against Boston the other night from your captain, WTF was that? Enjoy spring golf.

  7. cspuck7 - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    Crazy speed?? I bet he could do it with Ludicrous Speed next! In all seriousness though, he is the best scorer in the league, but I still can’t say he’s the best all around until he rounds out his defensive game, which he has really worked on this year, like playing on the PK (though I question whether that is out of necessity with Staal being traded, or Pens coaching finally getting smart and maximizing his TOI)

  8. hocsocmom715 - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    Sid 40 points +13 …. Claudia 24 points -7…… Yup Sid is the best player out there!

    • Tyler - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:39 AM

      Crosby: 45 points.

      Giroux AND Ovechkin: 45 points.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 11, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      Pens fans seriously need to get over the “best player in the world” comment. No one said Giroux is better than Crosby, it’s just at that particular time, following the series, Giroux was playing like the best player in the world. He put the Flyers on his back and took down the Stanley Cup favorite. I get that Pens fans were fuming at the loss (and still are) but everyone knows Crosby is the closest we will get to Gretzky in this generation. With that said, there should be no argument from anyone that during that series Giroux outplayed both Crosby and Malkin. He was unstoppable. And when you outplay the best two players on the planet doesn’t it make sense to compare? Pens fans like to throw that quote back in the faces of Flyers fans because we’re struggling, but Giroux was BETTER than Crosby and Malkin at that time. The fictional title of “Best Player in the World” is ever changing. When Crosby was out people said it was Malkin. Some say Datsyuk. People used to say Joe Sakic, or Peter Forsberg, or Mario Lemieux, or Jagr, or even Lindros. It’s not a fixed position, your play dictates your “ranking”. Right now Crosby is the best player in the world, and he has been whenever he’s been healthy for the majority of his career. But for that short time, during that series last season, Giroux was better. But it’s not a permanent fixture, obviously. So now because of that quote Pens fans are LOVING the fact that Giroux hasn’t had a great year. Just ecstatic about it. But there’s no denying, when he’s on, Giroux is a top-10, even top-5 player in this league. And maybe even sometimes, when he’s an unstoppable force like he was in that series, he can be the best player in the world. But right now, there’s no question it’s Crosby.

      • steelernation1 - Mar 11, 2013 at 7:06 PM

        Are you serious? Lol.Giroux.had a good playoff series yes.but just for one series you make him a top ten player? You may have a concusion.Giroux isnt even me a stat that shows he can play like Sid year after year.if he played on a team that were not full of thugs who get away with cheap shots every game after whistle blows then maybe ge will have stats to compareto Crosby. It this was a full season Sid would be on pace for over 100 assist s alone.thats insane.not including goals.when Giroux plays every game on Sid s level then talk..till then keep your rants to small talk

      • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 11, 2013 at 7:47 PM

        Was Giroux better than Crosby and Malkin in that series? Yes or no? The answer is absolutely yes. And the playoffs are when it matters most. But it seems you ignored the main point of my comment… the top-10, best player, top-5, whatever, it all fluctuates. Giroux is not playing like a top-10 player this season. BUT last season and in the playoffs he was absolutely top-5 and outplayed both Crosby and Malkin. And to your point about matching stats with Crosby… no one can do that. Like I SAID above he is the best player in the world right now and the closest thing to Gretzky. You may need glasses because nowhere in my comment did I say that Giroux is a better player than Crosby overall, simply that he outplayed him in that series. And that the fictional title of “Best Player on Earth” is relative and constantly in motion. Like I SAID “your play dictates your ranking”, so the way Giroux played last season and in the playoffs he was easily a top-5 player. This season, however, he is not even top-10. But he has that ability. My point was that it constantly changes… hell people were considering Thomas Vanek the best player in the NHL for the first few weeks of the season. That is my point, it’s about production! And Crosby is producing points at a remarkable pace and playing out of his mind, hence he is the best player on Earth. I think you need to reread what I said because it seems that you gave yourself an aneurysm as you couldn’t control yourself when jumping to the defense of the almighty Crosby. But you interpreted what I said completely backwards.

        And as for the cheap shots… keep on whining like a Penguins fan. Once again those people from Pittsburgh fail to notice the way their own players, like James Neal, act before, up to, and after the whistle. That guy is the definition of a cheap shot artist. And to even suggest that the Flyers going for “cheap shots every game after whistle blows” is somehow hindering Giroux’s production is not only ridiculous but laughable. So take a deep breath and relax because no one is questioning the Golden Boy’s talent and title as the best player on the planet.

      • 99infiniti - Mar 15, 2013 at 8:58 PM

        In todays NHL you can go from hero to zero inside of a week.Consistency is a rare commodity in today NHL.

  9. kaptaanamerica - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Gretzky has no clue about talent. HE Single handedly destroyed all of the young talent in Phoenix. His bad coaching ruined a once promising franchise by losing and missing the playoffs every year. HE could play the game but had no clue about how to build talent up.he should just shut his yap.

    • jimeejohnson - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:47 PM

      Positive you’re lying!

  10. bobhpine - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    The guy who said Ovechkin is among the best players in the world has to never speak again. There is not one stat where Crosby isn’t dominating Ovechkin, not to mention one team (the pens) is in first place and the other isn’t even in the playoff picture (the caps). Crosby: 40 points, Ovechkin: 20 points…maybe it’s Ovechkin’s defense that sets him apart. Dummy.

  11. 5hole26 - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    govtmule spewing more noise out of her mouth again. fraude giroux huh? you must not watch much hockey bro. crosby is the king of hockey end of story

  12. ravenscaps48 - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:10 PM


  13. 2jivecrew - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    While there’s no doubt Gretz is right………the comment about Detroit is out of nowhere. And unnecessary.

    • ironman721 - Mar 10, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      Agreed. Troll?

    • kitshky - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:35 AM

      You meeaan …the compliments directed at Detroit in the article?

  14. orangandblack - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    Like to argue because I can’t stand him, but there’s no arguing his talent. He is a beast (still whines way too much though)

  15. steelers88 - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    Why do Flyers fans hate Crosby so much? Is it because of his diving in the past? Because a lot of players embellish calls. Is it because of his complaining to the refs? Because that is one of the captains jobs is to argue calls on the ice.

    • jimeejohnson - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:48 PM

      Flyers fans hate Crosby because Crosby is so damned good!

    • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 10, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      I personally hate him because he’s been killing the Flyers since he entered the league. But beyond that… he receives preferential treatment. And there’s no question about this. The way refs treat Crosby is akin to the way NBA officials treat Lebron. It might not be as prevalent this season but it has been that way since he stepped on the ice in the NHL. On top of that, he has an extensive history of whining to refs on the rare occasions that the refs don’t give him a call. Again, it hasn’t been as prevalent this season, but there’s no denying his history. Pens fans can say I’m just being a Flyers fan, but it’s not just Flyers fans who have accused him of those things. With all that said, there’s no question he’s the closest this generation will ever get to Gretzky. He’s the best, no arguement here.

      • killerpgh - Mar 10, 2013 at 10:24 PM

        If Crosby is getting all this preferential treatment why does he get so many penalties called against him? In 2009-10 (his last full season) he was 14th in the NHL in minor penalties Called against. Malkin was 3rd that year. Man that’s some preferential treatment the Penguins stars are getting….

      • kitshky - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:00 AM

        @phillyphanatic77 … that is what you call getting owned.

        I wonder who put the only “thumbs down” to killerpgh’s comment … just can’t figure that one out.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 11, 2013 at 4:09 PM

        wow, kitshky, it’s so surprising to see my comment, as a Flyers fan, on a Pens page get so many thumbs down, while killerpgh gets so many thumbs up. I just can’t figure that out? It makes no sense! There’s no plausible explanation!

      • steelernation1 - Mar 11, 2013 at 7:11 PM

        Treatment? Really? Coming from a fan of the flyers? A team that gets cheap shots in after the whistle every game and gets away with it.the whinning was the pastSid grew up.and it is his job as captain to go to reff and question calls as any other captain does.

  16. tdrusher225 - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    I would still give that title to Pavel Datsyuk, but not by much.

    • cantstopme1006 - Mar 11, 2013 at 12:10 PM


      • tdrusher225 - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:10 PM

        I’m not a Red Wings fan

    • 99infiniti - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:05 PM

      Must be a Detriot fan and that’s admirable but “Datsyuk” better than Crosby your very wrong.And I’m a Bruins fan.

  17. 5hole26 - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    only people who think datsyuk is even relevant to this conversation is ppl from the dirty D. when your ranked 20th in points your out of the question. sorry bro

    • chanceoffleury1 - Mar 10, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      If they started awarding points for defensive play, players like Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Toews would be right up there with Sid and Stamkos in the points race.

      • tsi431 - Mar 11, 2013 at 7:38 AM

        If they gave points for defensive play. They would all be defenders. They are not, we are talking Centers and Wingers. Not defenders. They are not out there to defend.

    • clefty1 - Mar 11, 2013 at 9:48 AM

      Sorry shole26, Datsyuk plays both ends of the ice and plays on the PK. Find/name a player with better stickhandling ability in the NHL, You cannot.

      • handsofsweed - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:24 PM

        If his stickhandling is so much better, then why does he have less than 750 points at age 34, after 11 seasons or so? Was he not surrounded by elite talent? What is the reason? Explain.

  18. flyers22 - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    It’s the rivalry it’s the same with both organizations Pitt fans are going to say 1975 and Philly fans are always going to say how your franchise almost moved because of lack of fan support. It’s the same dumb chirps on every Philly or Pitt article I’m a huge flyers fan and I love the rivalry between the flyers and penguins because its never going to be a bad game it’s by far the best rivalry in the NHL and its great for the sport and the fans. As far as hating Crosby I have been playing hockey since I was 5 and as a hockey player I have to respect his talents he’s a great player and there is no fan who wouldn’t take him in a heart beat on there team and if they wouldn’t they don’t know anything about hockey it’s the same thing with giroux anybody would take him on there team in a second.

  19. cspuck7 - Mar 10, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    5hole…Nice argument when the whole topic is about “best all around” not tops in points…we get it, Crosby has the most points, and that cannot be debated and wasn’t at all

  20. steelers88 - Mar 10, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Wow even Mike Milbury is saying that this is the best he has seen Crosby in his career.

  21. ethanmacleod1685 - Mar 10, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Giroux is so overrated, he is no way near on the same level as Crosby. Not a pens fan btw!

  22. handsofsweed - Mar 10, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Pavel Datsyuk may not even make it into the HOF. He’s a 34 year old center with less than 750 career points. He was on 2 Stanley Cup teams, but one was as a role-player, not as a major contributor. He has never had a 100-point season and his production has been declining a bit as these last few years have gone by. He has had a bit of an injury issue the last few years, and although he is playing healthier and producing better this year, he has not had more than 70 pts in a season since 2008-09!!

    He has averaged less than a point per game for his career, is not in the top 250 in career goals scored, is outside of the top 130 in career assists and is outside of the top 180 in career points. The next 3 seasons are going to be huge for him in terms of the HOF, as he has the defensive-forward clout of a HOF’er, but is that enough to carry him if his career offensive stats don’t even remotely resemble anything like a HOF- forward’s should/does?

    • comeonnowguys - Mar 11, 2013 at 9:28 AM

      Now THAT is how you troll Detroit.


      • handsofsweed - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:21 PM

        No trolling the Winged Wheel. Outstanding, classy organization. One of the best in all of sports. Much, much respect for them. It’s just that when you look at the numbers, you will be absoluely shocked at how pedestrian Datsyuk’s career has been in terms of all the things I mentioned above.

    • clefty1 - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:05 AM

      You forgot to mention how Pav is always at the top of the league as far as takeaways, often leading the league and he has 3 Selke trophies as the league top defensive forward, he plays both ends of the ice unlike most NHL star players do plus he plays on the PK, you also try and find a better stickhandler in the NHL, you can’t. I guess you were not around during the 80’s when the NHL was more offensive now the league is more defensive, you do not see players getting 150 point season like you would see 25-30 years ago. My bet is Crosby does not even crack the top ten in NHL scoring history by the time he is done playing the reason being is how the game is played now.

      • handsofsweed - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:18 PM

        I’m almost 38 yrs old. I did mention that Pavel has the defensive-forward pedigree of a HOFer. And if you want to see a 150-point season, make sure you tune in around October of 2013. Sid is primed and it’s gonna happen.

        The fact is that as of now, Datsyuk does not have the numbers to get into the HOF. In 5 years, when he is almost 40 and at the end of the line, he may have enough numbers to combine with the intangibles you mentioned. But if he never has another 70+ point season, he will not be in the HOF (unless he captains the winged wheel to another couple of cups in that span, which isn’t impossible, given the outstanding coaching and front office they have up there).

        If thisngs don’t change for the better in terms of statistics and mathematics in the next 5 yrs, you’re going to a bitter, angry, confused man when you watch the HOF dream fade away.

  23. Stiller43 - Mar 10, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Is this even a debate? He was the best before his injuries, took some time to adjust through them, and now he’s back on the top of his game (and THE game).

    Malkins a freakin horse, but it seems he sometimes disappears with crosby in the lineup. When crosbys out though, look out.

    Stamkos is a beast, and a pure scorer like him is always good to have. Bottom line though, i cant think of anyone who takes a couple mediocre to solid players in chris kunitz and pascal dupuis, and makes them into bona fide solid (if not great) producing first liners. Crosby raises the level of everyone around him.

    • kitshky - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      Ya I’m with ya bud, I still can’t figure out how this suddenly became a debate. Saying Crosby is the best all round right now isn’t some insult to whoever your favourite player is … it’s just a fact.

      He’s done it all, and is still doing it. It’s laughable to even bring Giroux into the discussion at this stage in his career.

      (Hell, Hank Sedin’s got a bigger resume that Giroux…)

      • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 11, 2013 at 4:13 PM

        Seriously? Henrik Sedin has a better resume than Giroux? What a groundbreaking argument. It couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that the Sedin’s have been in the league since 2000.

      • kitshky - Mar 11, 2013 at 8:17 PM

        Umm ya … that’s the point.

        Try getting your head out of your homer ass and maybe read my actual comment.

    • 99infiniti - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:12 PM

      The true signs of a leader.

  24. kingsforever - Mar 10, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    LOL no…

  25. dboldave - Mar 10, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    I haaaaate Crosby with a passion….because he doesn’t play for my favorite team! He’s the best player in the game right now.

  26. 19to77 - Mar 10, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    Give Crosby’s defensive acumen some credit. He’s a top penalty killer on his team. Okay, he’s not quite making the Selke shortlist, but why on Earth does he need to try for that when he’s chasing the Hart and Art Ross? He plays a skilled, responsible game in his own zone. Maybe he’s not a future Selke winner, but hey, between Tavares, Stamkos, Giroux, Malkin, Ovechkin and Crosby, only Stamkos and Sid consistently defend well.

  27. capsfan19 - Mar 10, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Yea… I hate to say it but he’s really the first consideration. Ovis stock has supremely fallen.
    Im a big stamkos fan. And giroux shouldnt be considered in the race for top 5 players in the league. Please… Nobody on the flyers should be (not trying to hate but its the truth).

    • chanceoffleury1 - Mar 10, 2013 at 5:34 PM

      Idk. Giroux did win that fan-voted cover contest and had that ONE season where he avg’d above a PPG pace. Not to mention Crosby has helped turn one of his defenseman into a bigger offensive threat than Giroux.

      Top 5 Forwards in the NHL:
      1. Crosby
      2. Datsyuk
      3. Toews
      4. Stamkos
      5. Malkin

      Throw in Tavares, St. Louis, and Getzlaf as honorable mentions for good measure.

  28. blomfeld - Mar 10, 2013 at 2:47 PM


    If anyone ever posed that question to me, then my answer would be an unequivocal and emphatic “no he does not” ! As an ardent and loyal supporter of the reigning Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings, I have no problem with Gretzky’s assessment that Crosby is the “best” player in the game today. His talents and accomplishments on the ice are beyond refute and he’s a terrific “face” for the NHL today. About the only knock I’ve ever had with him, was his penchant for “contrived & robotic” answers during interviews. On numerous occasions in the past when I happened upon one of his interviews, my initial thought would be of the original FBI series featuring Efrem Zimbalist Jr ? So my suggestion to him would be to “lighten up” in that regard and try to speak a little more from the heart as opposed to the brain. However that’s hardly a major concern, especially when you consider the many “wonderful” things which he brings to the game today! :)

  29. misterchainbluelightning - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Typical of PHT bloggers, they are trolls, they HATE the Red Wings, and they have about as much hockey knowledge as any 9th grade Canadian.

    But that’s why they are only bloggers and don’t have a real job in the sport.

    • manchestermiracle - Mar 10, 2013 at 10:56 PM

      If you think they suck that badly, then what does it say about you for constantly coming on here?

    • kitshky - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:10 AM

      Where is this childish idea that Yerdon is “trolling” Detriot fans come from!?

      In an article where Gretzky is giving his opinion on the best player in the game he includes a quote where Gretzky gives massive praise to a Red Wing …and then ends the article by saying Zetterberg (Wing), Pavel Datsyuk(Wing), and Ryan Kesler are better defensive players than Crosby.

      I’m not sure you know what “hate” and “trolling” mean…

  30. csilojohnson - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    Yes everyone hates the Red Wings because Gretzky thinks Crosby is better then Datsyuk. Get over yourselves. Datsyuk is a great defensive forward with flashes of offensive brilliance. He can not match Crosby’s consistency, or ability to make those around him better. Just ask Cooke, Dupuis, and Kunitz. They all have 20+ goal season on their resume in large part due to Crosby’s vision. Not to take anything away from those guys. They will and have said the same thing.

  31. kcprof926 - Mar 10, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    Seriously Sid Crosby is the best player in the NHL. Anyone that denies it does so because they hate him. I am a Hawks fan and appreciate greatness and he is the greatest of this era .

  32. aso513 - Mar 10, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    First things first, Sid is the best in the game an right now is not even a debate.

    Second, how does a guy get this reputation of not being good defensively when he’s over +100 in his career. Also, Wings fans need to get a grip, Datsyuk has great skill and is great on defense but has never had a 100 point season and all his highlights don’t make him better than Sid. Just watch a game and you’ll see that Crosby plays great defense and back checks at a high level. Pavel can’t touch Sid from an overall offensive standpoint since Crosby is the best board player in the game and has the best vision in hockey.

    Be happy that Datsyuk is a superstar, but he isn’t Sidney Crosby.

  33. sjsharks66 - Mar 10, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    He sad that about girouxe during the playoffs! Haha

  34. joewilliesshnoz - Mar 10, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    Sid is the best, even better is that I get to watch him every game.

  35. thehighcountrybear - Mar 10, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    To understand Gretzky’s comments, one has to look at his frame of reference:

    Wayne cruised through a career nearly devoid of anything resembling defensive responsibility, was never involved in the hurly burly and always had muscle riding shotgun to prevent so much as a ruffling of his flowing golden locks; coupled with a supernatural ability to avoid contact, Wayne was a one dimensional player…the fourth dimension no doubt [ a virtual wraith ]!

    But Gretzky suffered under the misapprehension the game had to be played his way alone, continually trying to influence game officials and pointing fingers at fouls, real or imagined. Not surprising because opponents only had to look at Gretzky cross-eyed and they’d be penalized. It didn’t take long for Wayne to pick-up on his importance to the League, this leading to status as an untouchable, the first since Guy Lafleur…

    Gretzky was protected by the League; as the League’s meal ticket, his career output reflective his special status! Without League protection buying Wayne room to operate, his numbers would likely never have exceeded the likes of Howe, Hull, Yzerman, Esposito and Orr, these among many others who had to battle mano o mano to win ice and points [ Bobby Hull went an entire NHL career carrying two opponents on his back when entering the offensive zone or he would have hit a hundred during any season while still in his prime ]!

    Much the same can be said of Crosby, best defined during the Penguins last Cup win when a whole new system of rules were instituted in the Cup final, all aimed at promoting the League’s new darling and new meal ticket! As in the case of Gretzky, Canadian sports media contributed to the fawning Crosby love-in: I’m not sure who cried harder when Gretzky was sold to LA, Wayne or the CBC; I’m not sure who was hurt more when Crosby was concussed, Sidney or the CBC?

    As was Gretzky, Crosby is a one-way player who rarely digs or battles for the puck at either end, waiting rather for teammates to win tough battles while he floats in the lanes looking for feeds. Unlike Gretzky, Crosby does not seem to have a designated tough to protect him, hence the bludgeoning and concussions; a fact in and of itself that speaks to jealousies in the room carried onto the ice where few seem willing to sell-out for their teammate?

    Promising for Crosby in the present is less open petulance, pouting and crying…a product of need to avoid unnecessary banging and contact exacerbating apparent concussion syndrome in part, but likely more attributable to simply growing up? One has to remember Wayne and Sidney have been treated as special since they were children, and both often behaved like spoiled children into and through adult hockey careers.

    Now, Crosby is becoming a hell of a nice guy, and his views on hockey and in-game incidents are balanced and fair. While Sid has become absolutely likeable, he’s not a two-way player by any definition…Canada’s hockey system has fixated on specialization, and true two-way players no longer come from north of the 49th.

    Wayne was undoubtedly a spectacular offensive player, evolving post-career into a superb ambassador for hockey generally. With a truly likeable post career personality, the guy’s good as gold. His ability to judge virtue in a two-way player is limited by his core understanding of hockey, evolving and existing as it did in a supernatural fourth dimensional state!

    For the most part, players are specifically trained to play both ends of the ice in Sweden and Russia, no where else! Any Swede or Russian forward can easily fall-back and play effective defence. How then can serious debate on the matter of best two-way player exclude the likes of Zetterberg or Datsyuk?

    Best one-way hockey player in world, Steven Stamkos…

    Best two-way hockey player in the world, Pavel Datsyuk, no contest!

    • itripledogdareyou - Mar 11, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      “Crosby is a one-way player who rarely digs or battles for the puck at either end, waiting rather for teammates to win tough battles while he floats in the lanes looking for feeds.” You must be high on something, highcountrybear. Crosby is one of the best board players in the game and isn’t afraid to also go behind the net or in front to create opportunities. He out-hussles almost everyone on the ice every freaking game. If he’s just sitting around waiting for the puck to be tossed his way, why does he have 33 assists in 26 games? WTF?!?
      Stamkos & Datsyuk are two amazing players but neither influence a game the way Crosby does.

      • kitshky - Mar 11, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        To say that Crosby doesn’t dig literally means you’ve never watched a single game he’s played or are trying so desperately to get a response that you’ll say anything.

        The guys an admitted troll … just ignore him.

  36. theageofquarrel - Mar 10, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    ATTENTION YOU DUMMIES: It’s only the end of the 2nd and The Next One is putting on a clinic. Yeah see, he sucks.

  37. bru308 - Mar 10, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    5 point game with 10:00 minutes left…. I’d say Gretzky was right with his statement.

  38. thehighcountrybear - Mar 10, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    And Darryl Sittler bagged ten points including six goals and four assists in a February 1976 games v Bruins…what did Wayne say about Sittler?

  39. mordock57 - Mar 10, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    Just another FIVE assists tonight. Gee, that’s all. Centering the #1 even strength line in the NHL, with another 12 points combined tonight. Just 12. NHL Network pointed out that this was his third career 5 point game, and that he has NINETEEN 4 point games in his career (and two 6 point games). Is there another active player in the league with nineteen 4 point games? I’d love to know. I rather doubt it. Crosby has three or more points in nine games THIS SEASON. Me personally, I feel robbed of seeing what was to come as he was reaching the peak (it seemed then) of his powers when the concussion took him out for nearly two years. He was just beginning to explore a whole new level of elite play in this era when he got knocked out. I hope this is a sign that we’re still going to see it. Can’t wait. Enjoying the ride.

  40. c1md6 - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    I’m surprised no one has even mentioned Rick Nash in their top forwards list, they guy is single handedly carrying the Rangers and has scored 6 goals in 7 games since coming back from a concussion. Just saying.

  41. desertfan - Mar 11, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    CROSBY is bad for the pitts as was Gretz to the Oil.

    SO FRIGGIN good that all around him are going to get overpaid and leave!!!

    Think Kunitz and remember all the 50 goal scorers who played with Wayne who are now selling cars.

    SID the KID is the real deal!!!!!!

  42. clefty1 - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    The best all around player would play defense as well and no one plays both ends of the ice better then Datsyuk does, he may not lead the league in scoring but he works hard every shift, there is no one better at stickhandling/ making an opponet look foolish or coming back to takeaway a puck from an opposing player which he either leads the league or is in the top 3 in the category of takeaways, Pav also has 3 Selke trophies as the NHL’s best defensive forward.

    • handsofsweed - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:37 PM

      You know who else has 3 Selke’s? Jere Lehtinen. Is he headed for the HOF? Pavels’ offensive numbers are better than Jere’s, but still not on the HOF radar screen by any stretch of the imagination.

      • redwingwheel - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:30 PM

        You are an idiot to think that Pavel Datsyuk will not make the hall of fame.

      • handsofsweed - Mar 13, 2013 at 5:50 PM

        And you’re an idiot that thinks he’s a stone-cold HOF lock as of now. Notice how you have nothing relevant to say besides an insult? No stats, no explanation for how a “sure-fire HOFer” has such pedsetrian and unimpressive career numbers when compared to the rest of the Centers/Forwards in the HOF?

        It’s funny that you think that 3 Selke’s is going to overcome the fact that there is a serious chance that he never hits 1100 points. Go look at the career lists.

        Here’s a football analogy, since you don’t like to look at hockey numbers: take away 200 catches, 20 TD’s, 2,000 yards and the Super Bowl XL MVP trophy from Hines Ward. Does he make it in just bc he was the “best blocking WR ever?” Hell no. And I love Hines. And Datsyuk is NOT the best defensive forward ever. Bob Gainey?

  43. redwingwheel - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    For the people that think that Datsyuk is not the best two way player in the game (pens fans) you will get a nice greeting next year when we move to the East. He will skate circles around ‘sid the kid’. Call me bias all you want but ive grown up watching this man do the unthinkable and continues to dazzle. Datsyuk is at about a PPG with cleary and abdelkader on his line (4th line grinders) hes doing it all, and does it all. Cue the angry pens fans and thumbs down.

    • handsofsweed - Mar 12, 2013 at 8:19 PM

      Datsyuk will be 35 years old then. Time is running out on his HOF shot. He’s gonna need to have 5 years of a bare minimum of 70-ish points to get there. He hasn’t hit that mark since some team from Western PA forcibly yanked the Cup from your cold, dead hands.

      Speaking of “unthinkable,” shouldn’t it be “thinkable” for a HOF center to score more than 70 pts in a season? Because that hasn’t been thinkable for 4 years. And father time is not slowing down for your boy. He’s got serious work to do, and ever-dwindling time in which to do it.

  44. phlyerzpwnu - Mar 14, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    Pretty sure he misspoke and was really trying to say Giroux.

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