Okay, Jobbers here goes. Beeg gave me the honor of writing post #87. I know, so random huh? I thought I would look at some stats of our captain’s early career and how he accomplished so much so young and so fast.
First, let’s start with his juniors seasons. His first season in the QMJHL on the Rimouski Oceanic as a 16-year-old was one of the best 16-year-old seasons ever by any CHL player. His 135 points (54 & 81 in 59 games) is the most by any Major Junior player aged 16 not named Gretzky, who had 182 points (70 & 112 in 63 games). Gretzky was actually 6 months older at the same point in their respective careers which doesn’t mean much in your 20’s and 30’s but does during your teens. Sid went on to win the CHL Player of the Year award, the first and only rookie to win that award at 16 years old. His second season in the Q was more of the same and he went on to lead the CHL in scoring again with 168 points (66 & 102) in 62 games. And again winning the CHL POY award becoming the first and still the only 2-time winner. He led the Oceanic to a QMJHL Championship and then all the way to the Memorial Cup Finals which was pretty remarkable with that team.
Sid gets drafted, you all know the story. He starts his career by becoming the youngest player to score 100 points (102) in the NHL and only the third 18-year-old to do so joining Gretzky (137) and Hawerchuk (103).
His second season in the NHL is much like his second in the Q, he just gets better winning the Art Ross and Hart as a 19 year old, again becoming the youngest player to win the Art Ross Trophy w/120 points (36 & 84 in 79 games) and the second youngest (Gretzky) to win the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP. Also became the youngest to win the Lester Pearson Award (now known as the Ted Lindsay Award) as the Most Outstanding Player in the NHL.
His third season he gets his first major injury (high ankle sprain) while having a 10 point lead in the scoring race. It causes him to miss 29 games and possibly his second Scoring title & MVP. Geno picks up the slack in a big way scoring 106 points and helping the Pens reach the playoffs. Once in the playoffs, Sid leads the Pens to the finals leading the NHL in goals during the SCP as a 20-year-old.
His fourth season turns out to be magical, by now Geno was a full-fledged superstar (winning his first Art Ross Trophy- 113 points) and this was the beginning of the 2-Headed Monster. Geno was only 22 and Sid now a 4 year veteran at just 21 went on to record his third 100 point season (33-70-103). But the playoffs is where this season become special. It is where Sid becomes the youngest Captain in NHL history to lead his team to Stanley Cup glory with the help of Geno and cast of young players. The future was so bright. That was probably the highest point of L1’s Sid/Pens fandom. It just different when the team is so young and good as opposed to a bunch of veterans who have won before. You know the rest, injuries, return to the top, redemption with more MVPs and Championships. And then going down as the best of his generation. But this was all about Sid the Kid 🙂 L1’s favorite Sid.
Thanx Jobbers you make this fun. And Beeg, you ARE the Man.