Sidney Crosby turned 30 this week, and that has sparked discussions about where he will stand among the best that have ever played the game.
Rob Vollman with the NHL.com conducted an in depth analysis and comparison between Crosby and other Hall of Fame caliber players such as Wayne Gretzky, Jaromir Jagr, and Mario Lemieux.
First the basics, Crosby has 382 goals and 645 assists for 1,027 points in 782 NHL games by the age of 30.
Gretzky had 1,979 points (677 goals, 1,302 assists) in 847 games; Lemieux had 1,211 points (494 goals, 717 assists) in 599 games; and Jagr managed 1,158 (470 goals, 688 assists) in 875 games by the same age.
Keep in mind that Gretzky and Lemieux got their points during the high-scoring 1980s, only Jagr is (incredibly) Crosby's contemporary.
These numbers don't take into account the way the game has changed, the exact date a player turns 30 (the number above include only full seasons), and nuances like power-play time, team quality, etc.
When taking all of that into account, to the best of our ability anyway, Crosby jumps up the ranks.
Era and situational adjusted totals for the players are:
- Gretzky - 1,440 points
- Jagr - 1040 points
- Crosby - 989 points
- Lemieux - 854 points
This is far from a definitive ranking, but the exercise shows something we all already know: Crosby is indeed one of the best to play the game.
He stacks up in other ways too. Crosby has also won multiple Stanley Cups, Hart Trophies for the NFL's MVP, and Art Ross trophies for the NHL's top scorer, accolades and achievements he shares with Gretzky, Jagr, and Lemieux .
The question now is, how closely will Crosby follow the trends of these NHL legends?
None of them won a Stanley Cup after turning 30, and Lemieux was the only one to win the Hart Trophy after turning 30.
Only time will tell, but there's still plenty of outstanding hockey in the future for Sidney Crosby.
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