BY NICHOLAS LUCCIANTONIO
The new No.1 player on TSN’s Top 50 player list is none other than Connor McDavid.
Many thought the decision came as a surprise that the three-time Stanley Cup champion wasn’t still on top. However, TSN senior hockey reporter Frank Seravalli was not surprised.
“His combination of breakaway speed, vision and intelligence is unmatched in the NHL. To watch how nervous poised, veteran defencemen get when McDavid gathers the puck – you can see it in their skates,” said Seravalli. “It is incredible to watch.”
The amount of skill McDavid has shown this past season is incredible, but is it really enough to dethrone Sid the Kid for the best player in the NHL?
Avid NHL fan from Milton, Ontario, Connor Wilson believes that TSN got this one wrong.
“I feel Crosby is the best player in the league. He has won back to back cups, captaining his team. He makes everyone around him better. McDavid, I feel has the potential to be as good and even better, but hasn’t proven himself yet. Crosby has won everything,” said Wilson.
Seravalli posted an article last month talking about the Top 50 players.
Seravalli was one of the 22 TSN experts who decided on the list. “Personally, I had Connor McDavid at No. 1 on my ballot, but it was close with a 13-9 split for first place votes,” said Seravalli.
It was not unanimous when it comes to the decision made to determine top NHL star. The young
phenom might be better than Sidney Crosby, but that doesn’t mean that Sid, even in his 30s is going to take his foot off the gas one bit, Seravalli says.
“Sidney Crosby is still great, but he is also now one year older, crossing the 30-plateau for the first time, when we know well that is the age when most players begin to decline in production. Crosby has always been the ultimate are talent, so his drop off won’t be as precipitous as others,” said Seravalli. “But it will be coming at some point.”
With his history of concussions and now past his prime, Crosby has slowed down a bit getting 84-89 points in his past three seasons, which is lower than his seasons not affected by injury where he has got over 100 points. Even with all of the challenges he has faced, he still is in the talk to be the NHL’s best player. Something that is very difficult to do at 30 years of age.
McDavid and Crosby are generational talents that don’t come around often, so it is natural that McDavid could be the one that Crosby passes the torch to.
“They obviously see the game differently than most. Their vison and hockey sense is by far much superior than everyone else in the league,” said Wilson.
“I would be surprised if Crosby will ever be No. 1 again. It is certainly possible, of course, should McDavid go down with injury or run into any of the same concussion problems that plagued Crosby. But if it’s not McDavid that is passing Crosby by, it will be someone else like Auston Matthews or the next crop of generational talent to hit the NHL,” said Seravalli.