Before the airing of the popular ESPN documentary series, 'The Last Dance,' everyone knew that Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan was the greatest basketball player of all-time. But each of the ten episodes gave fans a newfound respect for Jordan, based off how much work he put in to help build the Bulls dynasty.
When it comes to hockey, the NHL's version ofJordan right now is Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby.
Ever since entering the league in 2005, Crosby was viewed as the NHL's next big thing. This was a hockey player that was hyped up since he was a child, with many saying he had the potential to be the greatest of all-time. He joined a Penguins team that was on the verge of moving from Pittsburgh to Hamilton, Ontario. And he singlehandedly got them to stay put in the Steel City, thanks in part to winning three Stanley Cups and becoming the most marketable star in the league.
While his accolades are impressive, Crosby's dedication to improve his game is what makes him hockey's GOAT right now. Once the offseason begins, the Penguins star immediately starts training for the upcoming campaign. It's eerily similar to what Jordan did after getting eliminated by the Detroit Pistons back in 1990. He showed up to the gym and put on 15-pounds of muscle. Crosby has the same devotion to his craft.
Additionally, he motivates his teammates. During an interview with The Athletic, former teammate Colby Armstrong said that Crosby helps pull guys along with him in every practice, like Jordan. Although he never went to the lengths that MJ went to (i.e. name-calling, daring teammates to fight him, etc.), Crosby just knows how to get the most out of them.
Plus, you never hear anything political coming from Crosby. Just like Jordan, he doesn't publicly endorse political figures. His life is hockey, and nothing else.
While he probably won't go down as the greatest hockey player in history, he's without a doubt the best of this generation. You just can't deny that his work ethic is comparable to Jordan's.