In a yearly tradition, let’s ring in 2023 by checking out the 2022 year that was for Sidney Crosby.
Believe it or not, in the calendar year of 2022, Sidney Crosby played more games than any other year of his career, and fittingly enough ended up being 87 regular season games. It was a year that Crosby got through without many injuries, no surgeries, no global pandemics or NHL/NHLPA labor issues.
Sidney Crosby NHL scoring by calendar year
|2005||37||19||23||42||Drafted first overall|
|2006||78||37||81||118||First team all NHL|
|2007||83||35||79||114||Won Art Ross, Hart, Pearson trophies|
|2010||80||60||66||126||Richard trophy winner, Olympic gold + golden goal|
|2013||78||37||78||115||First team all NHL, Pearson winner|
|2014||72||25||58||83||First team all NHL, Hart, Ross, Pearson winner, Olympic gold|
|2016||76||53||47||100||Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe winner, First team all NHL|
|2017||83||32||50||82||Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe winner, Richard trophy|
The 109 points in calendar was good for ninth in the whole NHL and Crosby was by far the oldest player in the top-10 for scoring, with many at the top like Connor McDavid and Matthew Tkachuk being a full decade younger and fully in their primes. Crosby was one of only three players in the entire league over the age of 30 to score at least 100 points in 2022 (along with Tampa’s Steven Stamkos and New York’s Artemi Panarin).
Crosby may be getting older, but he is aging like fine wine — 2022 at age 34/35 was one of highest scoring calendar year of of entire NHL. Crosby scored almost as many points this past year (109) as he did in 2020 and 2021 combined (110 in ten more games). Thos statements are very impressive for what Crosby is achieving and how high of a level he is continuing to play at, but also simultaneously sad to see all the different reasons that cost him games and points over the years.
Coming into 2022, Crosby was 30th all-time in NHL scoring with 1,343 points. He leaves 2022 in 18th place. Crosby is currently three points behind Alex Ovechkin and counting for the two dueling stars who can never seem to get separated too far from one another (though Sid did out-point his rival 109-85 in calendar 2022).
This past year saw Crosby rocket past legendary names like Guy Lafleur, Adam Oates, Jarri Kurri and Brett Hull. The names will only continue to get bigger in the future with Teemu Selanne, Stan Mikita and Paul Coffey’s career totals are coming into focus for Crosby to catch.
Crosby has this year plus two more on his contract, and has indicated that while it will be dependent on his health, he expected to play possibly another two or three seasons to follow. If he is able to go through with that and continues to play and produce like he has recently, it should give Crosby a real shot at becoming a top-five scorer in NHL history in the 1,800 point range and finish up his career behind only Wayne Gretzky, Jaromir Jagr, Mark Messier and Gordie Howe in points.
Though a stretch, Crosby is “only” 452 points behind Jagr for second place in career NHL scoring. Should Sid play through 2027 or 2028, that might give an outside shot for even climbing beyond everyone besides Gretzky. Crosby would need a monster 2023 to give himself a shot at that, but after playing like he did in 2022, it’s not so much of an impossibility at the moment.
Regardless of how many more players Crosby passes or not at the end of the day, playing careers are short and need to be savored as much as possible. What we’re seeing these days from the Penguins’ captain is one of the most impressive late-career pushes.