Another NHL season is on the horizon which means that preseason predictions are rolling out in full force. It should come as no surprise that many of those preseason predictions, from fans and analysts alike feature Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby as the favorite for the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player.
One would have very easily made the argument that Crosby should have taken home the hardware last season. He missed time towards the end of the year with an injury, but still finished at or near the top of the league in nearly every offensive category. He may have missed time, but at least he was consistent, unlike the eventual winner, Alex Ovechkin.
Like him or not, and those that dislike him come for no other reason than his excessive complaining on the ice (not any knock on his actual skill), Sidney Crosby is the very best player on the planet. Even in missing time in the shortened season last year, he still finished with an absurd 56 points in 31 games.
Those numbers alone are outstanding, obviously. What’s more than the numbers Sidney Crosby puts up is the effect that he has on the team around him. He made Chris Kunitz look like one of the league’s top offensive players, in terms of pure point production, during the 2013 season. Very few folks could actually do that.
Crosby is the centerpiece of one of the most dangerous teams anywhere in the league. He’s an offensive force, with fantastic hands. He can set up the wings on either side of him with as good a hands as there are in the league. And he’s capable of putting the puck in the net on his own as well.
There’s little doubt that Crosby should be the current favorite to take home the Hart Trophy. When the season comes to a close next summer, he may not have won the award, but you can bet that he’ll at least be in the mix, barring any unfortunate circumstances.