(Sportsnet.ca) – Connor McDavid became the youngest captain in the history of the National Hockey League on Wednesday, when the Edmonton Oilers anointed their young superstar with that franchise’s captaincy. Now the question begs, can McDavid live up to the mantle recently held by the best player in the game, Sidney Crosby?
Naming Connor McDavid captain yesterday might be the only thing the Edmonton Oilers have done right in the last decade. This isn’t any ol’ first overall draft pick like an Alexander Daigle or Patrik Stefan being wrongly put into the spotlight. This is a legit once in a lifetime player who can absolutely handle the captaincy of an NHL franchise.
Now, will he live up to a “Sid the Kid” level of scrutiny and play? I think he will. But it will be done in a different way.
I don’t know if McDavid can ever be the winner Crosby has been. A lot of that is beyond his control in the NHL and the Edmonton front office hasn’t exactly shown they can build a winner like Pittsburgh did. The Oilers have yet to land a franchise goalie or even sniff having a cornerstone D-man needed to win the Cup. On top of that you have the Olympics (Sid’s got a Gold Medal OT winner to his credit) which may not even be an option for Connor, the gimmicky World Cup, and will he even want to play in the boozefest that is the World Championships as he ages? It’ll be hard for McDavid to build a championship winning resume at the pace Crosby has.
But Connor McDavid will absolutely do things on the ice we’ve never seen before. His hockey sense, speed, and skill come from another planet. Don’t get me wrong, Crosby has a legit career highlight tape. But he also has a highlight tape of just his mic’d up bitching on the ice. McDavid is going to have a highlight tape above and beyond any And-1 Mixtape you’ve ever seen. He’s also extremely likable and there won’t be any crying to the refs that could fill hours on YouTube. If healthy I think McDavid will pass Crosby in career points. And the way he is going to put up those points will be electric.
The wins will take time. There isn’t a Mario here to shadow and mentor. There isn’t a Letang or Fluery (yet) to help out. But McDavid is going to blow our minds either way.