Hockey is a family. Nothing has reminded us of that more lately than the tragic bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team. From every corner of the hockey world, everyone has come together to remember those lost and support those who fight on.
So it was hardly surprising when word came out that the Penguins, led by their Captain, did something for the Humboldt victims. First, there was a jersey. Personalized to say Broncos with the number 18 and signed by every member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. But, because Sidney Crosby wanted to do more, he did. He then sat and personalized individual notes to each and every survivor letting them know they were in his thoughts.
Let’s just take a minute to appreciate this okay? The Captain of the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champions who was about to begin the chase for another one took the time to work with the team’s equipment staff on the jersey, ensure all of his teammates signed it, and sign individual photos.
But this story, while inspired by those events, isn’t just about 87 doing something nice for the Broncos. No, it’s a story about how it never ceases to amaze. The kind of soul lives inside of the man that is Sidney Crosby is truly special. Greatest hockey player of all time (do not @ me) and one of the greatest humans to be a hockey player of all time.
This was underlined by a story that made it’s way around Penguins Twitter on April 16th, 2018. A Twitter user by the name of Mel (@JMTMStone) shared another remarkable Crosby story that took place at a playoff game (a time that many players just want to focus on getting into and out of the game).
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this one really is. You can see and feel the emotion on the fan’s face as he’s interacting with Sid.
As Brian Metzer, who was in the room at the time with other members of the media, explains the fan was overwhelmed and began to tear up when meeting the Penguins star. Crosby’s reaction? To help the man calm down. He took the time out of his night after a huge game for his team and spent it with this man. Oh, and he gave him the stick he used to score his natural hat trick to take home as a souvenir.
Ask anyone around Pittsburgh, and the stories are the same. In 2012 during the lockout, he showed up at Mikey and Big Bob’s Stuff-A-Bus with bikes unannounced. In his hometown of Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia he just shows up to rinks and practices with local players.On his Christmas break this year, he hung out with a kid in Quebec and used boots as cones. He’s just a nice guy, full stop.
The playoffs are a long and tough road. There will be losses on the ice. Losses in the form of teeth or players injured, but moments like this bring it all full circle. In that moment, Sidney Crosby was just a guy, taking a few minutes to brighten someone else’s day. And Pittsburgh, count your lucky stars that this man is your captain.