In six seasons, Sidney Crosby has drawn a lot of comparisons. Now that he's been away from the game for almost a full calendar year, the void that's been left has led to a number of questions.
How does Crosby stack up against the greatest of all time?
For the sake of perspective, what follows is a look at the first six seasons of the great careers of Crosby and Wayne Gretzky. We'll evaluate those six seasons on five levels.
1. Production: How much did they add to their teams on the ice?
2. Departure: How much did their teams miss them?
3. Off-Ice Appeal: Did they transcend the game to non-hockey fans?
4. Rivalry: Was there someone, or something, that pushed them to greatness?
5. Winning: How much did they win, as an individual and with their teams?
Crosby has had a very good career so far, but this reflection back places his numbers into a context with the greatest player to ever put on skates.