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Is Sidney Crosby still the world's best hockey player?

Gregory Shamus/NHLI/Getty Images

Hockey analytics pioneer Rob Vollman is ESPN Insider's armchair GM this season, exploring how modern statistics can inform front-office decisions.

For almost a decade, Sidney Crosby has been the greatest hockey player in the world. Last year, "Sid the Kid" fell to third place in the scoring race, fifth place in Hart trophy voting and the Penguins were knocked out in the first round in just five games. Has Crosby's time as the world's best player finally come to an end, and, if so, who's next?

Obviously, the answers to both questions are matters of opinion, and we have all heard from friends and experts on all sides of the issue. Today, we're going to take a look at the numbers -- not as a replacement for any of these voices, but as a useful supplement. After all, while some arguments are up for discussion, some can simply be checked objectively.


The rise and decline of Sidney Crosby