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Sidney Crosby Ranked No. 1 in Sporting News' 50 Greatest Players in Today's NHL

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins
Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby tops Sporting News’ list of the 50 greatest players in today’s NHL, as selected by a panel of 121 experts that includes Hall of Famers, major award winners, executives, coaches and other hockey experts.

Crosby edged Alex Ovechkin by only seven points (1,509-1,502), despite picking up fewer first-place votes (53-34) than the colorful Washington Capitals left winger. Crosby and Ovechkin were followed in the voting by Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (nine first-place votes), Detroit defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom (four) and Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk (one).
Rounding out the top 10: 6. Flames RW Jarome Iginla, 7. Red Wings LW Henrik Zetterberg, 8. Bruins D Zdeno Chara, 9. Devils G Martin Brodeur, and 10. Lightning C Vincent Lecavalier.

Among the NHL legends who filled out ballots were 35 Hall of Famers: Neil Armstrong, Andy Bathgate, Butch Bouchard, Johnny Bower, Scotty Bowman, Murray Costello, Alex Delvecchio, Dick Duff, Phil Esposito, Fern Flaman, Emile Francis, Bill Gadsby, Michel Goulet, Glenn Hall, Harley Hotchkiss, Red Kelly, Brian Kilrea, Elmer Lach, Rod Langway, Howie Meeker, Brian O’Neill, Craig Patrick, Pierre Pilote, Denis Potvin, Bob Pulford, Henri Richard, Patrick Roy, Denis Savard, Darryl Sittler, Ed Snider, Peter Stastny, Bill Torrey, Bryan Trottier, Norm Ullman and John Ziegler. The complete panel is listed below.
“(Crosby) is such a phenomenal all-around player that it’s easy to forget he’s only 22 years old,” said Hall of Famer and Penguins co-owner Mario Lemieux, one of the 50-plus hockey experts who analyzed SN’s top 50 selections in the eight-page package. “And it’s not just his pure talent; what amazes you even more is his work ethic and determination, the way he won’t be denied. The fact that he led us to the Stanley Cup as a 21-year-old captain tells you everything you need to know.”
The Red Wings led all teams with five players on SN’s list: Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, 44. D Brian Rafalski and 48. G Chris Osgood. Two teams placed four players: The Blackhawks had No. 22. RW Marian Hossa, 23. C Jonathan Toews, 28. RW Patrick Kane and 50. D Duncan Keith. The Flames had Iginla, 33. D Dion Phaneuf, 37. D Jay Bouwmeester and 39. G. Miikka Kiprusoff.

Other teams with players selected:
—Three players picked: Bruins, Canucks, Capitals, Flyers, Penguins
—Two: Blue Jackets, Devils, Ducks, Hurricanes, Lightning, Rangers, Sharks, Wild
—One: Avalanche, Canadiens, Predators, Senators, Stars, Thrashers
The new Sporting News Magazine, featuring Crosby and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the cover (attached), hits newsstands later this week and can be purchased at all Barnes & Noble, Borders and Hudson Retail outlets. More coverage can be found in today’s edition of Sporting News Today, the world’s first digital daily sports newspaper. Go to to sign up. All questions and requests should be directed to editor-in-chief Jeff D’Alessio at or senior editor/NHL Ron Smith at
1. Sidney Crosby, C, Penguins
2. Alex Ovechkin, LW, Capitals
3. Evgeni Malkin, C, Penguins
4. Nicklas Lidstrom, D, Red Wings
5. Pavel Datsyuk, C, Red Wings
6. Jarome Iginla, RW, Flames
7. Henrik Zetterberg, LW, Red Wings
8. Zdeno Chara, D, Bruins
9. Martin Brodeur, G, Devils
10. Vincent Lecavalier, C, Lightning
11. Scott Niedermayer, D, Ducks
12. Ryan Getzlaf, C, Ducks
13. Roberto Luongo, G, Canucks
14. Rick Nash, LW, Blue Jackets
15. Eric Staal, C, Hurricanes
16. Chris Pronger, D, Flyers
17. Ilya Kovalchuk, LW, Thrashers
18. Joe Thornton, C, Sharks
19. Zach Parise, LW, Devils
20. Mike Green, D, Capitals
21. Mike Richards, C, Flyers
22. Marian Hossa, RW, Blackhawks
23. Jonathan Toews, C, Blackhawks
24. Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Penguins
25. Daniel Alfredsson, RW, Senators
26. Dany Heatley, LW, Sharks
27. Martin St. Louis, RW, Lightning
28. Patrick Kane, RW, Blackhawks
29. Henrik Lundqvist, G, Rangers
30. Jeff Carter, C, Flyers
31. Marc Savard, C, Bruins
32. Shea Weber, D, Predators
33. Dion Phaneuf, D, Flames
34. Marian Gaborik, RW, Rangers
35. Alexander Semin, LW, Capitals
36. Daniel Sedin, LW, Canucks
37. Jay Bouwmeester, D, Flames
38. Steve Mason, G, Blue Jackets
39. Miikka Kiprusoff, G, Flames
40. Niklas Backstrom, G, Wild
41. Henrik Sedin, C, Canucks
42. Andrei Markov, D, Canadiens
43. Martin Havlat, RW, Wild
44. Brian Rafalski, D, Red Wings
45. Tim Thomas, G, Bruins
46. Paul Stastny, C, Avalanche
47. Brenden Morrow, LW, Stars
48. Chris Osgood, G, Red Wings
49. Cam Ward, G, Hurricanes
50. Duncan Keith, D, Blackhawks

Neil Armstrong
Donald Audette
Don “Elbows” Awrey
Andy Bathgate
Curt Bennett
Sergei Berezin
Henry Boucha
Butch Bouchard
Phil Bourque
Johnny Bower
Scotty Bowman
Brad Boyes
Valeri Bure  
Sean Burke
Pat Burns
Dan Bylsma
Bobby Carpenter
Jimmy Carson  
Len Ceglarski
Shawn Chambers
Guy Charron
Peter Chiarelli
Jacques Cloutier
Craig Conroy
Murray Costello
Jim Craig
Marc Crawford
Jim Cummins
Eric Daze
Alex Delvecchio
Kevin Dineen
Dick Duff
Patrik Elias
Bob Errey
Phil Esposito
Fern Flaman
Emile Francis
Bill Gadsby
Danny Gare
Michel Goulet
Tony Granato
Bill Guerin
Glenn Hall 
Bob Hartley
Derian Hatcher
Denis Herron
Paul Henderson
Ron Hextall
Charlie Hodge
Bobby Holik
Ken Holland
Harley Hotchkiss
Phil Housley
Willard Ikola
Craig Janney
Claude Julien
Patrick Kane
Rick Kehoe
Red Kelly
Tim Kerr
Brian Kilrea
Petr Klima
Uwe Krupp
Mike Krushelnyski
Nick Kypreos
Elmer Lach
Lou Lamoriello
Dave Langevin
Rod Langway
Reed Larson
Peter Laviolette
John LeClair
Dave Lewis
Dean Lombardi
Don Luce
Lowell MacDonald
Howie Meeker
Barry Melrose
Rick Middleton
Ken Morrow
Bryan Murray
Terry Murray
Lou Nanne
Harry Neale
Adam Oates
Mike O’Connell
Brian O’Neill
Doug Palazzari
Craig Patrick 
Pierre Pilote
Larry Pleau
David Poile
Denis Potvin
Brian Propp
Bob Pulford
Joel Quenneville
Henri Richard
Todd Richards
Jack Riley  
Gordie Roberts
Jeremy Roenick
Patrick Roy
Jim Rutherford
Martin St. Louis
Joe Sakic
Bob Sauve
Denis Savard
Darryl Sittler
Ed Snider
Peter Stastny
Mike Sullivan
Darryl Sutter
Bill Torrey
Bryan Trottier
Barry Trotz
Norm Ullman
Garry Unger
Rogie Vachon
Ken Wregget
Wendell Young
John Ziegler
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