Penguins notebook: Crosby reaches out to injured Stamkos
By Rob Rossi
Published: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, 5:45 p.m.
Sidney Crosby is a Steven Stamkos fan.
He also is a friend to Stamkos, whose MVP start to the NHL season was halted by gruesome injury on Monday. Stamkos is out indefinitely with a broken right tibia.
Crosby “wished him well” in a text message sent within minutes of seeing video footage of Stamkos colliding with a goal post in Tampa Bay's loss at Boston.
Few players know what awaits Stamkos better than Crosby, who played in only eight games from Jan. 5, 2011 to March 14, 2012, because of concussion symptoms. That experience — especially the 10 months before his brief return in November 2011 — provided Crosby with a new perspective on the emotional toll that accompanies a lengthy absence from daily hockey activities, he said.
“There's so much you miss,” Crosby said. “For me, it was competing and being around the guys. When you're not around, you just can't be included like you normally are — and that's hard. I definitely have an appreciation for it because of what I went through. It's not a fun time.”
Crosby and Stamkos began this week tied for the league lead with 23 points. Stamkos — like Crosby (2005) a former No. 1 overall pick (2008) — paced the NHL with 14 goals for his surprising first-place Lightning.
Coincidentally, Crosby led in points (66) and was second to Stamkos in goals (32) when his 2010-11 season was stopped after 41 games because of a concussion.
Crosby warned not to rule out Stamkos from the 2014 Winter Olympics in February, but acknowledged that even a reputably deep hockey power such as Canada “can't replace a Steven Stamkos.”
“What's he got — 200 goals in five years?” Crosby said. “That's just … incredible.”
Penguins forward James Neal trains with Stamkos near Toronto during the summer, and called the loss of his close friend “a big blow” for hockey.
“All the hard work he puts in is because he wants to be the best,” Neal said. “He's such a humble kid. He knows how good he is. He wants to be better all the time.
“It's tough to see that happen to him because guys like that, you just want to see them stay healthy and be able to play.”
All but three players participated in practice on Tuesday. Lower-body injuries sidelined defenseman Paul Martin and winger Tanner Glass. Defenseman Olli Maatta was excused to take care of an immigration-related matter, coach Dan Bylsma said.
Maatta will play and Glass is probable to face Philadelphia at home on Wednesday night, Bylsma said. He added that Martin, who is day-to-day, is unlikely to play.
The league has created special logos for clubs participating in the Stadium Series of outdoor hockey games next year. The Penguins' maintain their “Skating Penguin” emblem, but adds a chrome element to resemble the NHL shield.
Tickets for the Penguins game against Chicago are on sale. Soldier Field will stage the event on March 1.
Around the boards
Fans are encouraged to donate canned items or cash at any of Consol Energy Center's three main gates through the first period of the Penguins-Flyers game on Wednesday. Participating fans are eligible to win autographed items. Proceeds benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. ... Wednesday is another 8 p.m. start.
Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Analysis: Kesler still on Pens’ radar as Shero aims to bring back ‘Big 3’
- Penguins GM Shero’s deadline deals: Addition by subtraction
- Penguins notebook: Maatta leaves lasting impression with Selanne
- Penguins minor league report: Defenseman Dumoulin optimistic for home stretch
- Penguins notebook: Fleury feeling sharp entering tough stretch