Even if Sidney Crosby does not come back to the National Hockey League after his recent concussion, he definitely is the second-best hockey player that Pittsburgh has seen wear the black and gold sweater. He would only be behind the greatest player to do so, Mario Lemieux.
When you take a look at Sidney Crosby's numbers all-time as a part of the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, it is amazing to see what this 24-year-old has done in his career already.
Crosby holds numerous records: The youngest player to record 100 points in a season; youngest player to be voted into the starting lineup of an All-Star Game; youngest Art Ross Trophy and Lester B. Pearson winner; youngest player to be named captain of a team; youngest captain to win the Stanley Cup; and fewest games played to be the leading scorer of his team.
The last feat of the fewest games played was accomplished this year in which he notched 66 points in 41 games before suffering the season-ending concussion during the Winter Classic game.
Sidney Crosby is also No. 6 on the Pittsburgh Penguins leading scorers of all-time list with a total of 572 points, placing him higher than greats such as Kevin Stevens, Paul Straka and Paul Coffey.
What makes that even more impressive is that he did all of this in six seasons when the people above him—Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Rick Kehoe, Ron Francis and Jean Pronovost—made the list in eight or more years.
If Crosby were to keep up the same pace of an average of 1.39 points per game for another 13 years—the tenure of Lemieux—he would retire with just around 2,000 points in his career, which would make him second all-time ahead of not only Lemieux, but also players such as Mark Messier and Gordie Howe.
Even though it is hard to compare him to the likes of Jagr, Kehoe, Francis, and Pronovost, it seems like the modern-day Crosby has more of an impact than those players in a shorter amount of time.
Let's look at the numbers even if Crosby does not come back to the National Hockey League. He notched his best year in 2006-07 as a second-year player when he notched 36 goals and 84 assists to get his 120 points. Crosby also owns the Pittsburgh record for the most points in a season as a rookie with 102, which he accomplished before the 120-point season.
If you take a look at the Pittsburgh Penguins record book during the regular season, Crosby and Lemieux, the top two players, own four out of the seven records, with the other three records being most wins in a season, most penalty minutes, and most points as a defenseman.
This is exactly why Sidney Crosby can be called the second-best Pittsburgh Penguin of all time even if he does not come back to the NHL.
**Stats from ESPN.COM or NHL.Com