Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Sidney Crosby reaches out to Steven Stamkos following injury


Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Take a quick glance at the individual stat leaders and you’ll see that Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos are rival talents out on the ice. There haven’t been any run ins between the two like, say, when No. 87 went toe-t0-toe with Claude Giroux in the playoffs a few seasons back, but they’re constantly doing battle for individual trophies and scoring titles.

So when word gets out that Crosby messaged Stamkos within minutes of seeing the gruesome injury that broke the tibia of Tampa’s star player, it makes you pause for a moment.

Crosby spoke to Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review this morning, and had the following to say about Stamkos’ injury:

I just felt terrible seeing that, seeing him — it looked like a lot of pain.

Rossi noted that Crosby had texted Stamkos, “wishing him well.” Few players know what it’s like to be among the NHL’s elite one day, only to be embattled and in rehab the next. Sid’s battle to return from concussion issues is well documented, and is the focal point of the league’s crackdown on head injuries.

Still, these two guys are fierce competitors. You didn’t hear about Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant exchanging heartfelt messages of encouragement when they were dealing with their recent injuries. Stamkos and Crosby are two of the top-five players on the face of the planet, yet Crosby knows all too well that hockey is a brotherhood first.

Perhaps we’re making too much of a simple text message, but anyone who has been in Stamkos’ shoes knows how far a few lines of encouragement can carry you. The Lightning forward underwent successful surgery today, and by all accounts will begin his rehab immediately.

Meanwhile it’s likely that Crosby will overtake Stamkos in the scoring race within the coming days, but not without reaching out in a humanistic, people-first fashion prior to taking to the ice. It’s small moments like this that make hockey the greatest game on earth, and everyone in the community is wishing Stamkos a speedy and healthy recovery.

An incredible photo to highlight the remarkable humanity that’s been on display over the last 24 hours.

Tags: NHL Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning