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Photo Courtesy of NHL.

For well over a decade, Sidney Crosby has been arguably the greatest professional hockey player in the world and last night in New York he further proved why.  After Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the New York Rangers 7-2 at Madison Square Garden, No. 87 must have been feeling pretty good about the goal and assist he tallied over the course of the evening, despite a heckler in the first row that was serving up some serious zingers throughout the tilt.

The fan, who we’re guessing is the same kind of mouth-breathing jabroni that repeatedly bangs on the glass during play, was sitting by the penalty box and consistently yelling at Crosby when he skated passed, according to one Twitter user.  Of course, the 31-year-old, three-time Stanley Cup Champion is used to getting his fair share of verbal jabs in New York City but either this particular fans were so good, or so unrelentless, that Crosby decided he would acknowledge the fan after destroying their hometown Rangers.

So, rather than just ignoring the fan, Crosby sent one of the team’s trainers out to find the fan and give him one of his game used hockey sticks, which the Penguins forward autographed on the blade.  But Crosby took it a step further and made sure to personalize the stick, writing “Good chirps.  Take it easy on me next time!”  There’s a decent chance Crosby made a new fan, but if not it was still a cool little nod.  According to The Athletic, the fan’s name is Nick Lipeika and one of his many lines came when Crosby was called for a penalty, yelling: “Hey Crosby!  For two minutes you and I are going to sit here, with no goals!”  The article has several other of Lipeika’s jabs and they’re pretty stellar, even if he had to sit and watch for 60 minutes while his team was embarrassed by division rivals.

This season, Crosby has 19 goals and 31 assists in 37 games, averaging an impressive 1.35 points per game.  He’s currently tied for ninth in points.  Crosby is a shoo-in first ballot Hall of Famer and has accomplished almost everything a hockey player can – but this makes him a bit more of a legend in our book.  Now, if he’d only whine a little less!