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Profiling 10 Legends of the NHL

Mario Lemieux image

Mario Lemieux

DOB: October 5,1965
Birthplace: Montreal, QB
Seasons Played: 12
Position: Center
Hall of Fame induction:  
 
 

#66--- Mario Lemieux ---#66
  • Growing up in Montreal, Mario Lemieux became a Canadiens fan at a very young age idolizing many of the Montreal greats. Lemieux's favorite Montreal Canadien was none other than Guy Lafleur.
  • The extraordinary talent that Mario possessed was evident at an early age while playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Over the course of three seasons, Lemieux scored 247 goals and 562 points while establishing a single season record of 133 goals and 282 points in 1983 (scored 6 goals and 6 assists in his final game of the season).
  • Mario was selected first overall in the 1984 entry draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins and it didnt take him long to make an impression scoring on his very first shift in the NHL. He went on to score 100 points his rookie season and took home the Calder Cup as rookie of the year.
  • Became the first rookie to be named MVP in an NHL all-star game.
  • In only his second season, Lemieux scored 141 to take second place in league scoring. (Gretzky set the all-time single season points record that year with 215) Lemieux won the Lester B. Pearson award that year as the NHLs best regular season as voted on by their peers.
  • In 1987, Lemieux teamed up with Wayne Gretzky for the Canada Cup and the two were dynamite together. Lemieux led the tournament with 11 goals and the duo teamed up in the championship game against Russia, connecting for gold medal winner with 1:26 remaining in the third period.
  • In the 1987-88 season Lemieux finally dethroned Gretzky as the leagues highest scorer with a total of 168 points (Gretzky had won the award for 7 consecutive seasons)
  • Lemieux scored his career high points total in 1988-89 netting a total 199 points and winning his second straight scoring title. Lemieux also became the 4th member of the "50 goals in 50 games" club and set a single season record of 13 short-handed goals that year.
  • December 31, 1988 Mario Lemieux became the first and only player in NHL history to score a goal in all 5 possible ways: 1)even-strength 2)short-handed 3) powerplay 4)on a penalty shot and 5) an empty netter.
  • The 1990-91 season was a tough one for Lemieux missing many games suffering through back problems. Lemieux had developed a herniated disc which became infected and kept Mario out of all but 26 regular season games. However, when the Penguins made it to the playoff Lemieux wasnt about to miss them, and he battled through the pain leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to a Stanley Cup championship. Lemieux led the playoff in scoring and took home the Conn Smythe trophy as the playoffs MVP.
  • Lemieux played much of the 1991-92 season in pain as well, only able to compete in 64 games he still won the scoring title and led the Penguins to another Stanley Cup championship. Lemieux also took home some more hardware with his second consecutive Conn Smythe trophy.
  • In January of the 1992-93 , while on pace to dominate the league again in the scoring race and possibly beat Gretzkys record season of 92 goals in a season, came the news that Mario had been diagnosed with Hodgkins disease. Mario began radiation treatment immediately and had his last treatment March 2nd. To the surprise of everybody except Mario, he returned to the ice the night of his final treatment and scored a goal and an assist his first game back. He then went on to score 56 points in the final 20 games still managing to win the scoring title and also won the Hart Trophy as leagues MVP that season.
  • In 1997, after Mario had announced his retirement the hockey hall of fame waived their mandatory three year waiting period and Mario was inducted into the hall of fame. That same year, number 66's jersey was raised to the rafters, the first jersey to be retired in the Penguins history.
  • In December 2000 after three years of retirement, Mario announced he was lacing up the skates again and returning to play for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He managed to lead the team to the Eastern conference finals that season.
  • In the 2002 Winter Olympics, Mario Lemieux wore the 'C' for Team Canada and led the Canadian Olympic squad to its first gold medal victory since 1952.
  • After the NHL lockout cancelled the 2004-05 season, 2005-06 started off promising for the Penguins. After signing some great talent in the off-season, and the signing of young Sidney Crosby, Mario was set for another big year. Unfortunately, Mario's health became an issue again as he was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat. After undergoing treatment for it, it looked as if they had it under control and Mario was ready to resume play. Unfortunately, that diagnosis was premature as the problem persisted and Mario was once again forced to announce his retirement.
  • Mario retired from the game after 17 seasons with the highest points per game total in history.
  • Born October 5, 1965 was born on the same day as NHL goaltending great, Patrick Roy.
  • Nicknamed "Super Mario" and "The Magnificent One"
  • In September of 1999, Lemieux announced his intentions to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins franchise that was in the process of declaring bankruptcy. Lemieux who had, along with other players, agreed years earlier to defer his salary to help keep the team afloat, saw this as an opportunity to recooperate some of the money he had lost, as well as to make sure everyone else that was owed money got paid and the team stayed in Pittsburgh. True to his word, he took over the team and everybody that was owed money got paid, and most importantly the team stayed in Pittsburgh. Lemieux has announced that as of 2006 the team is up for sale, but will only be sold to somebody who guarantees the team will remain in Pittsburgh.

Mario Lemieux #66 Banner

 

Mario Lemieux Career Stats

(regular season)
Games Goals Assists Points
745 613 881 1494
(playoffs)
Games Goals Assists Points
89 70 85 155

 

NHL Teams

Pittsburgh Penguins

Mario Lemieux raising Stanley Cup

Trophy Collection

3 Hart
6 Art Ross
2 Conn Smythe
1 Calder
1 Bill Masterson
5 First Team All-Star
3 Second Team All-Star
2 Stanley Cup Rings