Wayne "The Great One" Gretzky. Sid "The Kid" Crosby.
I'm sure you all know by now that Gretzky was an amazing offensive hockey player he was, but I don't think anyone knows just how good he really was. I've heard plenty about the child in Pittsburgh and how he's one day going to challenge Gretzky's scoring records, but I'm here to put all of those thoughts to a rest.
Both players were phenoms the moment they stepped on the ice as minor leaguers, no doubt about that. You can take a look at their stats as 13/14 year olds, but I don't have time for that.
Wayne Gretzky was played on the Oilers in the World Hockey Association after his 17th birthday, while Crosby after his 17th was playing in a top Junior League.
After his first season with the Oilers the WHA folded, and Edmonton moved into the NHL. How's that for having no talent? He's playing with a bunch of literally minor league players in the major league, while Crosby was playing with Mario Lemieux and other real NHLers. My point is that the whole basis behind the argument that Sid plays with nobody is absurd to say the least.
Now on to some stats:
Gretzky's prior season in the WHA (which was practically the same talent as the NHL):
72 games 43 G 61 AST 102 PTS
Gretzky's rookie season at 18/19:
79 games 51 G 86 AST 137 PTS
Crosby's rookie season at 18/(didn't turn 19 until following season):
81 games 39 G 63 AST 102 PTS
Crosby's second season at 19:
79 games 36 G 84 AST 130 PTS
I'll break these numbers down, so you can get an idea how much Gretzky's season really was, although he was 6 months older -Breakdown:
Gretzky(WHA)-0.60 goals/game 0.84 ast/game 1.42 pts/game
Gretzky(1)-0.65 goals/game 1.09 ast/game 1.73 pts/game
Crosby(1)-0.48 goals/game 0.78 ast/game 1.26 pts/game
Crosby(2)-0.46 goals/game 1.06 ast/game 1.65 pts/game
Nearly 1/2 a point per game separate the 2 in their rookie campaigns. I don't think 6 months is going to change that, as you can see even Crosby's second season doesn't quite measure up.
Although the WHA in which Gretzky played in as a 17/18 year old was looked at as minor league-type competition, think about this: The Oilers went on to make the playoffs in their first season as a NHL club, so much for that misconception.
Now after all of this the 2 look pretty similar right? WRONG. Gretzky went on the following season to rack up 164 points, over 2/game. Following that, Gretzky went on to post over 200 points in 4 of the next 5 seasons (196 in the other), and an average of 207.2 over that 5 year span.
So, do you really think that Crosby is going to post those kind of numbers in recent years to come? As of right now Crosby has 10 goals and 30 points or 0.5 and 1.5 per game. That's less than Gretzky's rookie season and actually less than The Child averaged last season as well. Even if Crosby had 2 points/game for the remainder of the season he would end up with 152 points, which is fewer than Gretzky had in his second season.
I hope I have convinced you to stop with the comparing of Crosby to Gretzky.