Crosby won't 'bet against' McDavid topping 170 points this season
Sidney Crosby believes Connor McDavid can ascend to even higher heights in the upcoming campaign after seeing what he did last season.
The Pittsburgh Penguins captain said he wouldn't be surprised to see the Edmonton Oilers dynamo collect more than 170 points in 2023-24, according to NHL.com's Mike Zeisberger.
"I didn't think 150 was going to be in the cards for him but he found a way to get there," Crosby said. "So, I don't think anything is out of the question for him as far as numbers are concerned.
"He just finds a way to find another level time and time again, so I would never bet against him."
McDavid led the NHL with 153 points last season, winning the Art Ross Trophy by 25 points over teammate Leon Draisaitl while posting the highest single-season point total since Mario Lemieux's 161 in 1995-96. The Oilers captain also claimed the Hart Trophy for the third time, his fourth Ted Lindsay Award, and his first "Rocket" Richard Trophy after pacing the league with 64 goals.
Crosby's praise for McDavid is nothing new, as the future Hall of Famer has called the Oilers center the NHL's best player since 2018. But no one has reached the 170-point plateau since Lemieux racked up 199 in 1988-89. Crosby hasn't changed his opinion on who's best right now, though.
"Yeah, I think it's (still) hard to argue that one," Crosby said. "I mean, you've got Nate (MacKinnon) and Leon and some other guys who are right there, but I think (McDavid has) proven that."
Crosby and McDavid could finally get to play together for Canada if the NHL and NHLPA follow through on their plan to hold a best-on-best international tournament in February 2025.
"The chance to play with Connor and, for that matter, some other guys would be cool," Crosby said. "It's a pretty amazing honor to play for Team Canada and to be with the best players in the world competing. Just seeing that level of hockey, it's impressive, and it's fun, and it's hockey at its finest.
"Hopefully, we get that opportunity."
As for playing against each other, Crosby and McDavid won't face off this season until March 3, followed by a rematch between the Penguins and Oilers seven days later. That means the first time the two superstars meet in 2023-24 could be in early February at the All-Star festivities in Toronto.