Most Valuable (Hardcover)

How Sidney Crosby Became the Best Player in Hockey's Greatest Era and Changed the Game Forever

By Gare Joyce

Viking, 9780735237926, 352pp.

Publication Date: October 29, 2019

List Price: 26.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

This hockey generation's brightest talent has been plagued by concussions. Now, the very style of play that has brought Crosby such success may be heralding the end of his career.

Sidney Crosby is arguably the best player ever to put on skates. You could argue that Bobby was better, or Wayne, or Gordie. But it would be hard to argue that any of those guys changed the game as much as Sid. No defenceman came along in Bobby's wake to play like him. There will never be another 99. But in Crosby's case, the entire league was re-made in his image.

The game can be divided into two eras: before and after Sidney Crosby arrived in 2005, breaking Mario Lemieux's rookie scoring record. Says NHL star Matt Duchene, who entered the league in 2008, just three years after Crosby: "Just in the time that I was going from peewee and bantam to junior, there was a whole other game before and after. You didn't have a choice really--you had to adapt and adopt the way he did things or get left way behind."

In an effort to keep up with Sid, the game changed. It's faster now, more skilled. There are more highlight-reel goals, and fewer fights. And in many ways, Crosby has thrived. Three Stanley Cups. Two Olympic gold medals. A World Cup. And enough individual trophies to fill a truck.

But then, if Crosby hadn't changed the league, he might expect a longer career. Today, Sidney Crosby is the first generational superstar whose every shift could be his last. He invented a faster game, and the faster game has taken its toll on its creator. Crosby has suffered several concussions, and missed most of an entire season with symptoms. He plays the game fearlessly, but he also plays it without a bodyguard.

The irony is that he created a league that made it harder for him to thrive. And the tragedy may be that he has created a league that will bring his career to an end in one fell swoop, in front of millions.

Telling the story of a generational talent and the way he has revolutionized the game, Gare Joyce will also bring into focus crucial questions about the way the game is played today, assessing fighting and concussions in the light of the way these issues impinge on arguably the greatest player ever to skate.


About the Author

GARE JOYCE, described by Sports Illustrated as "one of this continent's master craftsmen of sporting prose," has appeared in every publication from the New York Times to Sportsnet, has won four National Magazine Awards and been a finalist 19 times. He is the bestselling author of the Brad Shade mystery series comprising of The Code, The Black Ace, and The Third Man In, and has authored or contributed to eight other books on hockey, including books on Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. Based in Toronto, he has written about sports and more important things for newspapers and magazines for thirty years.


Praise For Most Valuable: How Sidney Crosby Became the Best Player in Hockey's Greatest Era and Changed the Game Forever

“No player has had the game-changing impact that Sidney Crosby has. No writer has chronicled his remarkable, precarious journey better than Gare Joyce.” — Dan Robson, author of Quinn and Bower, senior writer, The Athletic

“Crosby’s accomplishments are well-documented, but Gare Joyce’s Most Valuable puts them into a new perspective. Sidney is not just a player in the pantheon of the greatest players of all time but likely the most influential ever.” — Craig Button, TSN broadcaster and former NHL executive

“There has never been a player quite like Sidney Crosby in the history of the National Hockey League. And there has never been a hockey writer quite like Gare Joyce, a veteran wordsmith who has an uncanny ability to peelthe layers of the onion and deliverthe story beyond the headlines. Most Valuable is well-researched, impeccably written and full ofinsights gained from a career spent in the best seat in the house.”—Ken Campbell, The Hockey News

“Gare Joyce has long been considered one of North America’s best sportswriters. With Most Valuable he shows himself to be one of sports’ best thinkers—a brilliant study of one player and his remarkable effect on the game he plays.” — Roy MacGregor, author of The Home Team: Fathers, Sons & Hockey

“There’s a moment in this book that really hits me. Gare Joyce is interviewing Sidney Crosby in 2003, asking about an event Crosby can’t control. The future Hall-of-Famer says, ‘I don’t think about what’s fair. I just make the most of whatever situation it is.’ When Crosby makes this comment, he has no idea of the major challenges he will face. But, years before they occur, this sixteen-year-old already has the attitude that will push him through and bring him back to the top of the NHL .It’s a great story.” — Elliotte Friedman, Sportsnet broadcaster