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Wayne Gretzky: Sidney Crosby is 'the best player in the game'

Crosby's play is on a whole other level - and Gretzky would know all about that.

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Remember where we were before the season started? Wayne Gretzky's name will always be associated with greatness, but then, there was a new generational talent: Connor McDavid.

And who was the best player in the world? Was it him? Well, maybe one day, but at 19 years old, not now. Maybe it was Jonathan Toews? Anze Kopitar? Because how could it be Sidney Crosby - he'd only made it past the second round once since winning the Stanley Cup in 2009.

This season - and this post-season - have served as a reminder, time and time again, that Crosby is still one of - probably the - best in the world. And no amount of pontificating is going to change that.

Wayne Gretzky, who knows a little something about greatness in hockey, agrees. As he told Sportsnet:

"What Sid has is a little bit of an extra gear as far as his passing ability, his playmaking ability, the ability to make players around him on his team that much better. Guys like Bobby Orr did it and Mario (Lemieux) did it and obviously Crosby’s doing it. He’s just making his team better."

Gretzky also knows a little something about setting out to win multiple Cups, only to learn just how difficult it is. In a league now without true dynasties, it's tougher than ever. So Crosby's relative lack of playoff success compared to others really isn't a measure of his true talent levels at all.

He's up there. His peers decree it.