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Sidney Crosby - The Game Changer

from Sportsnet,

In an excerpt from his new book, "Most Valuable," Gare Joyce explains how Sidney Crosby forever changed the way NHLers — particularly generational talents — approach being pros.

Each sport has its own brand of hyperbole, and in hockey the most used, overused, misused and thoroughly abused is a term associated with talented teenagers: “generational talents.” The foundation of this term isn’t altogether wrong-minded — some of the very elite kids possess talent that doesn’t come along every year. Just look back on a few NHL Entry Drafts and you’ll find years that don’t produce talent that shimmers so brightly (for example, Mario Lemieux was the best player born in 1965 and, arguably, Joe Nieuwendyk in ’66 and Brian Leetch in ’67 — the latter two being good players, even NHL trophy winners, but a big drop-off from Lemieux). The notion of “generation,” though, is seemingly tied to sport’s short attention span or, maybe more fairly, short career spans. Lemieux was deemed a generational talent, as was Wayne Gretzky, who was born four years before him. Sometimes the gaps are bigger — after Crosby, who was born in 1987, you might pass over many only excellent players (including Steven Stamkos, John Tavares et al.) before you’d land on Connor McDavid as a ’97. Sometimes the gaps are insignificant — Alexander Ovechkin being born less than two full years before Crosby.

Since Jack Hughes, like Crosby, showed up on the hockey industry’s radar at 16, he has been a name in the game; if he doesn’t enjoy the highest profile among the media and public, then he is certainly universally known in industry circles. And, yes, Hughes has been labelled, for better or worse, a generational talent.

In his underage year, Crosby burst onto the scene at the summer under-18s, effectively a preseason exhibition and a preliminary read of talent for the upcoming draft, but really not much more than that; by contrast, in his underage year, Hughes stepped up to much tougher company when he joined the US team at season’s end for the IIHF under-18s.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sidney+crosby

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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