Crosby: The next Jaromir Jagr?

We might not be able to call him Sid the Kid if this is the case!

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The Hockey News' Matt Larkin released his "Ask Me Anything" mailbag today, and responded to a question asking if there was a player of Jaromir Jagr's ilk still playing in the NHL (who isn't Jagr himself - obviously).

Larkin chose the Penguins' Sidney Crosby.

"To me, the closest comparison to Jagr today is Sidney Crosby," Larkin writes. "We know Crosby has the elite ability to match Jagr’s, of course, and Crosby is also a maniacally devoted worker, the guy who has changed his game so much over his career that he’s now an emerging Selke Trophy threat on top of being a perennial scoring-title candidate.

"I remember being at the 2016 Stanley Cup final, and my colleague Ken Campbell went to the Penguins practice on an off day," Larkin continued to say. "There were only a few players on the ice, as it was an optional skate (which is much more common during the playoffs, as guys have to heal their ravaged bodies), and Crosby was out there working tirelessly on faceoffs with Eric Fehr. I don’t remember the exact quote, but Fehr told Ken that day that Crosby is a first liner who thinks like a fourth-line grinder.

"And that’s similar to how Jagr operates (...) That’s a fundamentals-first, grinder mentality Jagr is preaching, not unlike the way Crosby approaches the game. Both marry unbelievable talent with unbelievable work ethic, and that’s why I see Crosby as the best Jagr analog."

That's a pretty huge comparison - with Crosby's concussion history, it's hard to say if he'll manage to accomplish what Jagr has done at age 45, but his multiple Stanley Cups and 1057 points in 812 regular season games compare very favorably to Jagr's 1921 in 1728. Crosby's career points-per-game average actually beats Jagr's - he has 1.3PPG over his career whereas Jagr's has dropped to 1.11PPG. 

Regardless of this statistical comparison, their all-around excellence - putting up points, making their teammates supremely better, and their shared grinder mentality make them strong comparables.