Or an alternate heading: AO ain't no Mario . . . I know, I know heresy . . . which is why I am enjoying writing this . . . and granted if given the opportunity the Pens would taken AO over Malkin for ticket selling reasons alone, but since so many threads, even threads on Malkin or other top prospects, become AO shrines quickly, in the interest of fun and fair play, I will give an argument of why some might prefer Malkin in the end. If it pokes a finger in the eye of some Caps or AO fans all the more fun. First, we have all those tantalizing quotes from respected scouts that we have all seen, from Conte on down, that at least the gap has closed, some even implying that they would take Malkin over AO if given the chance. Likely not, but that implies a small gap in my mind, unless a whole lot of scouts are blowing smoke where the sun don't shine. I wonder if AO had not generated years worth of hype, much as Crosby has been doing, if that gap might be even smaller. Now reading between the lines of the scouts quotes, and why the Caps would be stupid for taking Malkin over AO, even if ticket buying reasons left out of the equation: Malkin seems to be the promise of what AO is already . . . and as the old saying goes a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, take the sure thing, but from what I see from the scouts, they see the promise of ability such as that in Malkin, just not even close to there yet. Much like the stupid thread asking who is better right now, Crosby or AO? . . . May as well ask who is better right now Forsberg or Crosby, there is no comparison. Take AO, the sure thing. Now to make the heresy argument of why Malkin is the better pick. He is a center, not a wing. If, and that is a huge if, Malkin developes to be even close to what AO is supposed to be, even if he is a bit less, I would take a center, in this case Malkin, every time. Mario is the ultimate example of that, and also goes to my second heading, AO ain't no Mario and never will be. No wing can be. I remember during an all star game a wing who played along side of Mario, maybe it was one of the Bruins, but I can not recall, said 'a fire hydrant could score thirty goals as Mario's right wing.' Come to think of it one did - Warren Young once scored forty as Mario's wing (and then signed a multi-million dollar deal with Detroit and never scored more than ten again I think). A great center can make average wingers great, a winger can not make average centers great. Take the quaterback everytime over the wide reciever. AO will be a great player I think, but let us hold off on the bronze shrine's outside of the rink in washington . . . even if he does become great, he may only be the second best in this years class.