Scotty Bowman expressed his admiration for Sidney Crosby on the NHL @TheRink podcast this week.
Bowman, who won the Stanley Cup nine times as a coach and is the NHL all-time leader with 1,244 coaching wins, was asked who in hockey today would he like to sit down with and have a conversation.
Crosby was an easy answer because Bowman said he doesn't know the Pittsburgh Penguins center other than a back-and-forth hello when they see each other at events in Pittsburgh or at Amalie Arena in Tampa, where Bowman regularly attends Tampa Bay Lightning games.
"When people talk about generation type players, I looked at his record the other day and it's just an amazing record," Bowman said. "So consistent. He had the setback for a couple of years with the concussions, but he's like the perfect player again."
Crosby has won the Stanley Cup three times with Pittsburgh (2009, 2016, 2017) and was the Conn Smythe Trophy winner voted playoff MVP in 2016 and 2017, when the Penguins became the first team since the Bowman-coached Detroit Red Wings of 1997 and 1998 to win the Cup in back-to-back seasons.
Crosby is a two-time winner of the Hart Trophy (NHL MVP), Art Ross Trophy (scoring leader) and Rocket Richard Trophy (goals leader).
"He doesn't have to do any more for me," Bowman said. "Look at his playoff record, look at his performance, and look at the change of players he's had to play with. He's just consistent. The impact that he had on the game from the time he started 15 years ago has been amazing. You look at all the other great players in history, people always ask, 'How good is he?' Well, I say he's going to be right there with those players. What could you ask any more of a player?"
Bowman compared Crosby to Hockey Hall of Famer and former Boston Bruins defenseman Bobby Orr.
"Bobby Orr, when he started, they would say he isn't very good defensively," said Bowman, who was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991. "Well, we know what kind of a player Bobby Orr was. Sid Crosby is the same type. I mean, where are you going to get a player that plays as hard as he does, as consistent as he does, offensively, defensively, face-offs?. I mean, that's some player."
If given a chance, Bowman said he would want Crosby to tell him about his early years as a player growing up in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, and playing for Rimouski of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
"I've heard some stories about him that he attended a hockey school in the next province over, Prince Edward Island," Bowman said. "I would like to know when he first started to play hockey. Everybody heard about him when he was maybe 12 or 13, but how he evolved as a player."