There shouldn't be doubt in anyone's mind that Sidney Crosby carries the NHL's fortune on his (hopefully) able shoulders. Groomed for years to be the standard bearer for professional hockey, Crosby has given fans everything they could hope for in his first two seasons; a scoring title as a teenager, countless highlights to draw in the casual fan, and a Gretzky-like awareness of his responsibility to the business aspect of hockey in terms of marketing and promotion. When I'm flipping through the Center Ice channels and I see a Penguins game, it's a guarantee that I'm going to stop for a while in the hopes of seeing something truly special. Crosby is a fan's (and league commissioner's) dream come true.
We're also fortunate that Crosby is joined by dynamic young rivals like Alexander Ovechkin, which should benefit all hockey fans as we watch them constantly try to one-up each other year after year. Crosby's fans are so rabid that even questioning his greatness brings motivated supporters out of the woodwork. One post I wrote back in March looked at the prevalence of first- vs. second-assists
, and if one took the perspective that second assists generally aren't as critical as the primary one, that reduced Crosby's offensive dominance compared to players like Lecavalier, Ovechkin, and Heatley. The emails simply poured in, decrying any criticism of the game's #1 star. All in all, that's a great thing; it's wonderful that Crosby doesn't just put up fantastic stats, but he inspires a legion of fans that are re-energizing the league.
Versus is going to air a special (6:30 Eastern on Tuesday) prior to the upcoming Rangers/Penguins game called "Sidney Crosby Revealed", and the good folks there passed along this sneak preview, wherein Crosby discusses the nature of the "new NHL" and how he fits in. Enjoy...