Honorable Mentions: Victor Hedman, Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane
As mentioned before, with the new wave of talent storming the league, the NHL has witnessed the transition of moving out the old and moving in the new. As a result, it has led to players like Sidney Crosby, who was the long-standing face of the league, being placed just outside of the Top 3 players of the NHL today.
The reasoning is not because Crosby or Patrick Kane have regressed. As a matter of fact, if anything Kane has found more success as he has aged, recording his first 100+ point seasons in his career after turning 30-years old. It’s because the players who are now ranked above them are just that much better.
Crosby will always be remembered as one of the greatest players of all time, and it’s not debatable. This scenario is simply the unfortunate reality of the beginning of a new era in the NHL. It is seen in other North American leagues like the NFL, with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes emerging as the new face of football.
All of the players on the list from 2007-2015 were the pioneers of the speed and finesse movement, as they paved the way for the new generation with speed and finesse combined with physicality were ahead of their time. Each of the players above is a hybrid of all of the players in the former rankings.
While it has been sad to see that “Sid the Kid” has been regressing over the years, it is not a result of aging, but as a result of injuries. The eye-popping center has withstood numerous concussions over the past decade, and the signs of their effect on his game are beginning to show more and more each year.