Sidney Crosby was a Hart Trophy Finalist, scored 100 points, and was a force on the ice last season. Sunday the NHL Network finished its list of the top 50 players in the league. Despite the resurgence year, the NHL Network dropped the Pittsburgh Penguins captain to third-best in the league.
Connor McDavid was tabbed the best and Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov was second.
NHL Network analyst Mike Rupp, who was Crosby’s teammate from 2009-10 and 2010-11, called the Penguins captain, ‘the most complete player in the league.” Crosby is a three-time Stanley Cup winner and a two-time Olympic gold medalist.
The NHL Network noted that Crosby, 32, is the NHL leading scorer since 2013-14. Crosby has scored 551 points (208g, 343a) in that time.
McDavid has been a leading or second-leading scorer in the NHL for the past three seasons and is generally considered the best player in the NHL, though Edmonton has stumbled over the past few years.
Kucherov ran away with the Art Ross Trophy and the Hart Trophy last season. The winger posted one of the best seasons in nearly two decades when he scored 128 points (41g, 87a) in 82 games.
Crosby’s friend and Cole Harbour neighbor Nathan MacKinnon was ranked fourth overall. Last season, MacKinnon led the Colorado Avalanche breakout season. He scored 99 points including 41 goals. MacKinnon also joined Sidney Crosby on the golf course with the Barstool Sports crew this summer.
The top-10 included some first-time names not generally considered among the elite, including Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand who was ranked seventh, and Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov who had a breakout season. Barkov had 96 points last season (35g, 61a) but was a minus-three. Barkov and Florida teammate Jonathan Huberdeau were the only two players among the top-20 NHL scorers who were a minus.
Saturday afternoon, Crosby blocked a shot with his skate. He left the ice and did not return. Sunday, Sullivan said Crosby was held out for precautionary reasons and his prognosis was encouraging.