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Crosby vs McDavid

Written by: Noah Foster

There is nothing more debated in the sports world than the greatest player in a respective league. It's no different in hockey. While many agree on who the best player is, there are still rumblings of discussion among fans. There are goal-scoring machines, defensive powerhouses, and sheer playmakers, but the two players that lead the conversation are Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid.

McDavid and Crosby look up the ice towards a developing play. Photo: The Spokesman-Review

The Young Gun Becomes The Master

There is very little debate about who is the most skilled player in the league. That unofficial title belongs to number 97 on the Edmonton Oilers. He finished second in points and assists, only behind his teammate Leon Draisaitl, and top 10 in the league for goals. The former first overall pick put up impressive numbers this season, including 97 points, 11 powerplay goals, and six game-winning goals. But numbers aren't everything. McDavid’s explosiveness and quickness is his defining characteristic on the ice, and opposing defenses have yet to figure out a way to stop him when he’s skating full speed. His stick-handling is utterly beautiful and his control of the puck in open ice is second to none.

This goal-of-the-year candidate shows McDavid’s true skill and agility. Video: Sportsnet

The Old Leader Proves His Worth

While McDavid is playing much better than anyone else on the ice, he is not the player I would want leading my team. The only person I would entrust with that task would be none other than Sid the Kid. While not as skilled as McDavid, Crosby’s leadership is the best in the business. In the 2016-2017 season, Conor Sheary and Jake Guentzel were very new to the league. They were practically unknown and thought of as depth players. Crosby turned these players from unknowns to forwards capable of playing on the second line. Sheary jumped from 10 points in the ‘15-’16 season to 53 in the following year, and Guentzel had an impressive 33 points in his rookie season. Crosby makes everyone on his team better because of his leadership, further exemplified by the Penguins’ back-to-back Stanley Cup wins. Number 87 does not just use his teammates to help himself, he helps his teammates improve so the entire team becomes better. And it’s not just the new players he helps out. Even the star players like Malkin become better because they are on the same team as Crosby. There’s a reason that Crosby has worn the “C” on his jersey for 13 years with the Penguins.

Crosby looks for a pass to his teammate in neutral ice. Photo: NHL - NBC Sports

The Big Reveal…

There is no doubt that each of these fantastic players have their own strengths. McDavid is the most individually skilled player in the league, and Crosby is the best player to help your team be better. So who is the better player? After watching both players’ games for multiple years, I would rather have Sidney Crosby on my team. McDavid is extremely skilled, but he doesn’t have the leadership to make everyone else around him better yet. Crosby’s leadership combined with his silky hands, puck protection ability, wicked shot, and ability to find his teammates for assists makes him the best all-around player in the league.

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