Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sidney Crosby VS Wayne Gretzky

By Phil Tremblay

Some fans of the game may say that comparing Sidney Crosby and the Great One, Wayne Gretzky is like comparing apples and oranges. Of Course there is only one Gretzky, and most die hard fans of his will attest to that. Although it is hard to argue the fact that Sidney Crosby, who has already broken a club record previously set by the great Mario Lemieux, is a player to be watched. Barring any professional injuries, he is bound to go the distance.

While it might be said that the game has changed considerably over the past few decades, it is interesting nonetheless to compare Sidney Crosby and Wayne Gretzky's performance at the start of their NHL career at the age of 18.

Sidney Crosby's 2005-2006 NHL debut season consisted of 81 games with a record breaking 39 goals and 63 assists for a total of 102 points.

Similarly Wayne Gretzky's NHL debut at the age of 18 during the 1979-1980 season consisted of 79 games with 51 goals, 86 assists for a total of 137 points.

Regardless of how the game might have changed, Wayne Gretzky's NHL debuts were undeniably more impressive than those of Sidney Crosby's. Although Gretzky's NHL playing days are over, Sidney Crosby has almost another 15 years to truly make his mark in the NHL and at the pace at which he is headed many analysts believe that his total career points will by far surpass those of Gretzky.

Gretzky's first Stanley Cup Championship came only 4 years after he began playing in the NHL. During his 1983-1984 season Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers took home the cup after defeating the Edmonton Oilers. An exploit the young Sidney Crosby has to accomplish. As captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins he has lead the team to playoffs, only to be defeated within the first rounds. Crosby still has a few years left to beat or match Gretzky's Stanley Cup victory.

Since the start of Sidney Crosby's career, similarities were made between the two in terms of their attitude towards the refs. Both were considered to be whiners and constantly complained to the refs about unjust penalties.

From amazing hockey talents to a whiny attitude and destined for NHL glory, Sidney Crosby and Wayne Gretzky might just be the two most similar players in the history of the NHL. While Gretzky may be considered The Great One, Crosby is right behind is at his heels and at this point only time will tell.

Phil is the owner of the Sidney Crosby Fan site

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