Penguins’ Sidney Crosby rewards heckling fan with signed stick

Despite a 7-2 routing by the Penguins on Wednesday, Sidney Crosby gave one Rangers fan a reason to smile.

Nick Lipeika spent his evening near the visiting team’s penalty box at Madison Square Garden relentlessly heckling the Penguins captain, but Crosby opted to be the bigger man and make a peace offering with an autographed stick.

Lipeika received the gift from a Penguins trainer after the game that read, “Good chirps. Take it easy on me next time!”

@RickCarpiniello – funny story from last night’s game. Guy sitting next to penalty box was lighting up Sid all game with some fantastic chirps. A trainer delivered this to him after the final buzzer.

Rough 7-2 loss last night for @NYRangers but at least Crosby respected our trash talk game! #gameknowsgame #respect @WeBleedBlueNYC @NHL

Among the many heckles were digs at Crosby’s teammates and shade that referenced fellow Canadian celebrities from his home country.

“Hey Crosby, [Evgeni] Malkin would have more Cups if he had a better supporting cast.”

“Hey Crosby, you were voted third toughest Canadian, behind Celine Dion and a close second to Avril Lavigne.”

“Hey Crosby, when Gatorade wanted a tough guy, Justin Bieber turned them down so they settled for you.”

Was sitting right near him. One of my favorites: “Sid, when Gatorade was looking for a spokesman, they wanted someone tough and they considered you but signed Justin Bieber instead.”

Crosby has made plenty of enemies in his 13 years in the NHL, most notably among fans of Pittsburgh’s metropolitan division foes. But there’s no doubt he won a few of them back.

“I couldn’t believe it. And then I thought, ‘What did they do before they gave this stick to me?'” Lipeika told ESPN. “He’s that guy that when he’s on your team, you couldn’t own enough of his stuff. But if he’s not on your team, you’re praying that he just has a bad night. I think he moved up a few spots for me.”

As a life-long rangers fan – I learned to hate him. but i don’t anymore.

After a slow start to the season, the Penguins (22-12-6) will go for eight straight when they host the Jets (25-12-2) at 7 p.m. ET Friday.

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