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Is Sidney Crosby the most underrated player in the NHL?

Hockey analyst Cam Charron joined hosts Matt Larkin and Tyler Yaremchuk on Thursday’s Daily Faceoff Live. When asked if Aleksander Barkov was a suitable recipient of the NHLPA’s Most Underrated Player award, Charron offered an interesting alternative. Given his lack of recognition in recent seasons, future Hall of Fame center Sidney Crosby was Charron’s choice.

Matt Larkin: Cam, I wanted to turn around and ask you about the NHLPA player survey that was released earlier this week. Aleksander Barkov has been named the NHL’s most underrated player. This is a guy who captained last year’s President’s Trophy winners, he’s got a Selke Trophy. What do you think of the idea of ​​Barkov being “underrated”?

Cam Charron: I think it’s a terrible thing that we just turn the best player on a Sun Belt team into the most underrated. I don’t think we should think about it that way at all. I don’t think any casual fan could tell you that Aleksander Barkov is a top 10 and top 5 center in this league and I think it really goes far beyond the definition of what underrated means.

Like you said, this guy got all these votes left and right. In general, I’ve found that the underrated players linger in the Sun Belt, then end up on the Canucks, and then don’t do very well. I think the most underrated player in the NHL right now is Sidney Crosby.

He’s probably dragging the penguins into the playoffs right now. He really was the only consistent force for the Penguins in 5-on-5 hockey all season. He’s only maintained that 55% goals on the ice. Malkin isn’t having a great 5-on-5 season and the depth was atrocious, but Pittsburgh are still right there with a big win over Colorado last night. This has just been driven entirely by Crosby. 10th in the standings for the past three seasons, he’s barely sniffed any ballots for the season-ending awards. Obviously the Hart is going to McDavid this year, there’s no question about that, but I think Crosby should show up third, fourth, or fifth on a lot of ballots, and I don’t know if he’s making a lot of headlines now.

I just think at the end of Crosby’s career we’re going to look back and say, ‘Oh, he only won two Hart trophies.’ That doesn’t seem like enough for Sidney Crosby, who is one of the all-time greats.

Tyler Yaremchuk: Another point on Barkov, he finished third in the most complete player poll, which would contradict him being underrated too.



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