Crosby's The Best - Again
If you could be in the room or be part of the discussion, be assured it was long, detailed and passionate.
So the fact that Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins has emerged today as the winner of the 2009 Lou Marsh Trophy is probably more of a compliment to the young star than when he won the award as Canada's top athlete two years ago.
Then, he was the Hart Trophy winner, the best player in the world's best hockey league.
Last year, he wasn't. But he led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup as a 21-year-old captain, and for that he was recognized ahead of a strong group of finalists that included mixed martial arts star Georges St. Pierre, speedskater Christine Nesbitt, tennis star Daniel Nestor, NBA point guard Steve Nash and alpine skier John Kucera.
Interestingly, on my ballot, Crosby wasn't in the top three. In particular, I admired the achievements of Nestor, Nesbitt and Kucera.
It's a testament to the growing legend of Crosby, then, that a diversified group of sportswriters and broadcasters felt that the Penguins star was the best. His strength last season didn't necessarily lie in putting up better numbers than everyone else but in defining himself as a gritty leader who led the Pens into Detroit for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final when they pulled an upset victory over the defending champion Red Wings.
Evgeny Malkin won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, but the Pens wouldn't have won without Crosby. In fact, they might not even have got past the Washington Capitals without Crosby's efforts.
Again, led by chairman Silken Laumann, the discussion was excellent this morning. That alone makes Crosby a deserving winner.