Ladies and Gentleman, ELVIS has just returned to the building. Thats right Mario Lemieux came out of retirement and I, much like the rest of the Pens fans, CRIED when I heard he was returning...it was the greatest gift I could receive as a hockey fan. What thrilled me even more was the fact that I already had tickets for what proved to be Mario's 4th game back when they were also giving away his Millenium team coin. We had tickets in section D25 very near center ice. Mario has returned in full force but I am going to keep my tribute page the way it is because I must admit this is my pride and joy of my entire site. Enjoy it....it will change a little when he returns to retirement.
Mario Lemieux, regarded by many (including me) as THE greatest Hockey player ever ended his career with a 6-3 loss to Philadelphia in the first round of the 1997 Stanley Cup Playoffs. But not before Mario could score his 70th career playoff goal. Mario played his final regular season game, fittingly, in the same city where he played his first game back in 1984. Then in the Boston Garden only 3 minutes into the game, Mario scored his first goal on his first shot of his first shift. At the end of his career 66 isn't the only number Penguin fans won't forget. Just a few others to remember: 613 career regular season goals...881 assists...1494 pts...70 career playoff goals...and most importantly 2 Stanley Cups. Others to remember? How about Mario is the only player in the history of the league to win the Calder (1984), Hart (88, 93, 96) Ross (88, 89, 92, 93, 96, 97) Smythe (91, 92) and Masterson (93) trophies. He has also won 4 Lester B. Pearson awards (86, 88, 93, 96) for the leagues most outstanding player, and 3 All-Star MVPs (85, 88, 90). Mario ended a briliant career one of the most prolithic goal scorers in the history of the game. Thank you Mario and Good luck in the future! Enjoy retirement!
Mario Lemieux, Le Magnifique, Simply the Best! EVER!!!
"Mario Lemieux is Mr. Pittsburgh." -Andy Van Slyke after being called Mr. Pittsburgh by Barry Bonds during their days with the Pirates.
"You have Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan...and Mario Lemieux. He's the best in hockey, in my opinion." -Kordell "Slash" Stewart.
"I always knew he was a great hockey player but then when he fought cancer, thats when I realized how much heart he had." -Erric Pegram formerly of the Steelers.
"Mario Lemieux is the poetry of all things." -3rd grade student in Edgewood, PA
"The most talented guy I've ever seen! This guy is unbelievable." -Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Orr.
"No tribute would adequately trumpet Lemieux's climb to the top of the league..." -Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
"Mario's impact will be immediate. He plays on a completely different plane. He's the toughest one-on-one player I ever played against. His stick is like a magic wand he waves. He is a true performer who can pull off a new miracle every time he steps on the ice." -Brian Engblom on Mario's return in the 2000-01 season.
Mario is #1 on the all time goals per game list (.823) and #2 on the points per game list with 2.005. He is also tied for #2 with 39 career regular season hat tricks.
Mario has performed very well with ten 4 goal games and four career 5 goal games. He also had three career 8 point games.
Now we will break down a few of the stats. The goalie he has scored the most goals on... John Vanbiesbrouk is the lucky man! He gave up 30 goals to Mario including his last regular season goal which came on a Penalty shot (one of seven in Mario's career). Mario also scored 47 short handed goals and 201 on the power play.
Team that Mario did the best against? That would be the San Jose Sharks. In only 11 games Mario averaged 3.82 Points per game and 1.27 goals per game. This was the highest in both catagories.
The Men who assisted Mario the most? That would be Paul Coffey (71) and Jaromir Jagr (68) Isn't it ironic that Jagr assisted Mario 68 times and that is Jaromir's jersey number?
One of the most amazing stats in my mind though is without a doubt, Mario's 46 game scoring streak.
Mario was also given the honor of being inducted to the NHL hall of fame without having to wait the traditional 3 years. Yet another honor added to the list. The street that passes the Civic Arena was renamed Mario Lemieux place and the address for the Igloo? 66 Lemieux place of course!
Adieu Lemieux! Thank you for the memories! You are going to be missed by the entire league!