Legendary defenseman Bobby Orr believes Sidney Crosby is one of the top five players to ever lace up the skates.
Orr himself is almost unanimously considered one of the top five players of all time, usually sharing the distinction with Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Gordie Howe. According to Orr, Crosby belongs right beside them.
"Please, please," Orr told The Athletic's Josh Yohe. "I want you to be very comfortable putting Sidney Crosby's name with the rest of us. Just trust me on that one. He's so, so special."
He continued: "First of all, if you ask those other guys on the list, I know that they'll tell you the same thing I'm about to tell you. Sid belongs on that list. Sure, there's the talent that he has and the drive. But look at what he's been through. That tells me something. Look at the injuries he's dealt with, especially earlier in his career. He's been beat up, hurt, been through so, so much. And through it all, look at what he's accomplished.
"He's won all of those Cups. He's won the Olympics. Scored the goal to win it, in fact. The World Cups he's won. The numbers he's put up. Everything he's done. He's one of the greatest hockey players of all time."
Concussions limited Crosby to a combined 63 games in his age-23 and age-24 seasons, but the Pittsburgh Penguins captain has still produced one of the greatest resumes the NHL has ever seen. With 1,263 points in 984 regular-season contests, Crosby ranks sixth in league history with 1.28 points per game. He owns three Stanley Cups, two Conn Smythe Trophies, two Olympic gold medals, two Hart Trophies, two Art Ross Trophies, and two Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophies.
Crosby, who turns 33 in August, has cemented his status as one of the best in the eyes of Orr, but he's not the only modern star to receive praise from the eight-time Norris Trophy winner. Orr declared in May that Edmonton Oilers dynamo Connor McDavid has the potential to become the best player of all time.