January 24, 2006

Mario...Out! again: Lemieux is seventh on the all-time NHL scoring list with 690 goals and 1,033 assists in 915 career games.

posted by garfield to hockey at 09:08 AM - 39 comments

It's unfortunate that Lemieux couldn't end his playing career on a high note. If the Penguins are saved in Pittsburgh, however, his decision to come back as a player will be viewed as a major factor.

posted by rcade at 09:11 AM on January 24, 2006

Even if they move, Mario is responsible for them staying this long. He was the Pittsburgh Penguins.

posted by garfield at 09:22 AM on January 24, 2006

That would explain why Mario seemed so depressed during his 'in game' interview w/ Doc and JD on Saturday. I'm sure it's for good this time. You have to respect him for what he did in Pittsburgh, and 1.883 pts/game is very impressive.

posted by njsk8r20 at 09:22 AM on January 24, 2006

.754 goals per game has to be the best goals per game average in history (I think Bossy is close but I'm too swamped at work to check) If he never had all those health problems he would have broke Gretzky's goal record.

posted by HATER 187 at 09:28 AM on January 24, 2006

There is a news conference today where Mario is announcing his retirement.

posted by dbt302 at 09:49 AM on January 24, 2006

The most amazing hockey moment that I've ever witnessed was his first comeback game, I think he had an assist the first time he touched the puck. Amazing player, and DID single-handedly save the Pens.

posted by sfts2 at 10:03 AM on January 24, 2006

Lemieux won the Art Ross Trophy - which is given to the NHL playoff MVP - twice, in 1991 and 1992, the years he lead the Penguins to their back-to-back Stanley Cup wins. Oh, TSN! How could you mess up something so very Canadian? Conn Smythe is spinning in his grave. Mike Bossy's GPG: 0.7619 Of course, Lemieux played an extra 150+ games than Bossy. I'll always remember the 1987 Canada Cup. And that "no touch" pass-through at the 2002 Olympics. My favourite Lemieux goal (NHL) is when he made Ray Bourque (HOF defenceman) look like a pee-wee player: Lemieux picks up the puck at the blue line. The only player left is Bourque, who proceeds to skate AWAY from Lemieux, to get enough speed to turn around and face him while skating backwards. However, Lemieux catches up to him before he can turn around, puts the puck through his legs, reaches around Bourque, picks it up again, and keeps going. Bourque is left flailing at empty air. Naturally, Mario then flips the puck over the shoulder of the goalie for a goal.

posted by grum@work at 10:14 AM on January 24, 2006

What about the 5 goal, one every type (even strength, power play, short handed, penalty shot, empty net) game. That feat will never be duplicated.

posted by HATER 187 at 10:21 AM on January 24, 2006

If it is we will have to call it a Super Mario Hat Trick Good description Grum. Are you a play by play announcer?

posted by njsk8r20 at 10:24 AM on January 24, 2006

Bleedin' ell, you gave me a shock there, I thought you meant the Mario

posted by Fat Buddha at 10:29 AM on January 24, 2006

What about the 5 goal, one every type (even strength, power play, short handed, penalty shot, empty net) game. That feat will never be duplicated. True. However, someone has a chance to take that one more step: 6 different goals - even strength, power play, short handed, penalty shot, empty net, shootout /waits for mandatory cries of "shootouts suck!" Good description Grum. Are you a play by play announcer? No, it's just that I recently watched it on the Don Cherry Rock'em Sock'em #17 dvd. Just describing what I saw.

posted by grum@work at 10:42 AM on January 24, 2006

shootouts ROCK! but usually an empty net goal puts a game away (unless its one of those delayed penalties where a player puts it in his own net) so chances are it wouldn't get to a shootout

posted by njsk8r20 at 10:50 AM on January 24, 2006

I was at the Igloo when Mario scored his 1500 point and Jagr his 1000 point with my son and it was a moment we both will never forget. We were right on the glass behind the net. What an experience for a 12 year old boy!!! We hate to see you go Super Mario, you will be sorely missed by everyone who is a hockey fan!!

posted by idahosteelergirl at 11:35 AM on January 24, 2006

This is terrible. I had hoped that he would last a little longer, show us again how he is a man amongst boys. Damn. Still maybe the most talented player of all times. Mario could win scoring titles with a broken stick. He could snap a puck through a fridge door. He saved a franchise (for a while) and stayed around long enough to introduce the next superstar. I hated his guts for years, and I miss him already.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:06 PM on January 24, 2006

It'd be kind of hard to get both a shootout goal and an empty net goal in the same game.

posted by mkn at 12:37 PM on January 24, 2006

Not impossible, though, mkn. The other team pulls their goalie with, say, 1:30 left to play. You score an empty netter right away. It's the playoffs, so the other team continues with with the sixth attacker and it works; they score two quick goals to even the score. Or, just after you score the empty netter, your team royally fucks up and gets two minor penalties for a 6-on-3 then a 6-on-4 for two quick goals. I've seen Arturs Irbe play and I can tell you, it could happen. Mario was just a thrill to watch, especially when he had the puck, cutting his way through the other team. So fluid and so graceful. It was nearly hypnotic the way he would skate through the other team. I consider myself to be very lucky to have seen him play on many occasions.

posted by NoMich at 12:46 PM on January 24, 2006

Viewing alert! (not available in Canada) We can watch the press conference live in less than10 min.

posted by njsk8r20 at 12:52 PM on January 24, 2006

That goal against Bourque that grum described was in the playoffs, too ('92 I think)...and then he beat Andy Moog like a rented mule.

posted by Mookieproof at 01:10 PM on January 24, 2006

The Penguins mourn. Meanwhile, other ice dwellers are ecstatic.

posted by Bill Lumbergh at 01:21 PM on January 24, 2006

I just finished watching the news conference and was struck by his classy demeanor. Here's a superstarm, HOFer who played through some stuff that would have paralyzed other players, Hodgkins etr.. what a treat to watch him play over the years.

posted by skydivedad at 01:40 PM on January 24, 2006

Very humble guy. No other player has ever done so much for one franchise. Did anyone else get teary eyed watching that? So when does the #66 get retired?

posted by njsk8r20 at 01:45 PM on January 24, 2006

It'd be kind of hard to get both a shootout goal and an empty net goal in the same game. Remember, it was a penalty shot, not a shootout goal which would make it more possible. All you would need is to be tripped up on a breakaway, score on the penalty shot, then score on an empty net at the end of the game.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:49 PM on January 24, 2006

Yes, but we were talking shootout goal AND penalty shot in the same game, along with an empty netter. Of course it's not impossible, I didn't say as much, but how many games have there been in which a team scored an empty netter and still managed to somehow get into overtime? Not many I'd imagine. Still. The goal at Salt Lake, in which Mario did so much by actually not touching the pass, is the one I'll remember the most.

posted by mkn at 02:03 PM on January 24, 2006

My favorite memory of Mario was during the cup against the North Stars when he was coming in all alone, I mean, there were 2 defenders and the goalie, but he made it look like he was all alone. Through both of there legs. Past the goalie. I think it was the last game. Anyways, just beautiful.

posted by steelcityguy at 02:11 PM on January 24, 2006

So when does the #66 get retired? Oh, nevermind, I guess it just needs to be re-retired. I didn't realize #99 was retired by the NHL.

posted by njsk8r20 at 02:37 PM on January 24, 2006

Not to start any problems in here but #99 is retired league wide and some of us are of the opinon that Mario is the greatest player who ever lived so, should #66 be retired league wide?

posted by HATER 187 at 02:49 PM on January 24, 2006

I have mixed feelings about that. The only team that he played for was the Penguins so maybe that honor should be thiers only. I mean no other player in the league would have the audacity to wear #66 anyway (I would hope).

posted by njsk8r20 at 03:03 PM on January 24, 2006

Mario isn't the greatest player of all time, but he's likely in everyone's top 5. How can you not like Super Mario? I hope that, if anything, his retirement is the kind of kick in the pants that the city of Pittsburgh needs so they can git 'er done and keep the Penguins where they belong.

posted by Masked at 03:13 PM on January 24, 2006

Along with the goings on of last week, I'd be inclined to think this is another step toward the team moving.

posted by garfield at 03:48 PM on January 24, 2006

Somebody half his age had to quit the game earlier this year (Jiri Fischer, Detroit) with the same problem. Only concern here is, if he can't play, due to health, and he sells the team, is he going to campaign to move them elsewhere? That seems to be his attempted goal for the last two years. And even healthy,stats don't add up for him to EVER pass Gretzky. 204 less goals. 930 fewer assists. 1134 fewer points and a whole shitload of fewer records held. Granted, LeMieux was a great player. But comparing him to Gretzky is a real error, because he can't even compare for the greatest centerman to play.

posted by mrhockey at 06:17 PM on January 24, 2006

Remember mrhockey, Lemieux probably would have passed Gretzky if he hadn't had all of those health problems. Granted that is a huge if but I think he is good enough to be third best all time (behind Gordie Howe).

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:05 PM on January 24, 2006

Woulda, coulda, shoulda...... Speculation. The truth is, he didn't. Probably is speculative. Had I not busted my shoulder in the 5th game I played in the NHL, I may have been better than Gretzky, too. But I didn't. Neither did Mario. And to speculate is just as good as guessing. The truth is, his health sucked for a good share of his career, and Wayne's didn't. LeMieux isn't known as the Great One, and for good reason. Even Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe has more goals, and more total points. But he's not even close to Gretz. Face it, Mario has to settle for less, because he DID less.

posted by mrhockey at 08:59 PM on January 24, 2006

did anybody ever notice all three pittsburgh's team's colors are black and yellow?

posted by stevie_wonder at 09:07 PM on January 24, 2006

I personally have been a huge Lemieux fan my whole life. I have seen him play so many games it is hard to think of all the great moments and plays I have witnessed him accomplish. What I would like to say is, to me, mario is the epitomy of a superstar athlete. More athletes should mock him in regards to star status. He has been my idol in sports,and my absolute favorite player of all time, in all sports. All the kids out there should take lessons from this guy. He never complained about losing. That team was pathetic when he arrived. He carried an entire franchise on his back, which the burden of all of that weight, was the beginning of his decline. I really feel bad for him in regards to all of the adversity the guy has faced in his career. I will argue with anyone as to who is the greatest of all time. Here is a guy who leaves and misses 21 games due to Hodgkins disease and comes back two nights later against the Rangers and has 6 points. The first game back against the Flyers he had his last chemo treatment hours before the game. Then goes on to still win the scoring title. Gives up millions that is owed to him to save the franchise he has played his whole career for. The only franchise he ever played for. Name one other superstar that has done that. No all athletes care about is getting paid, not doing what is right. He literally played paralyzed with back pain for the last 6 years of his career. I could go on and on. I am sad for one reason. He is one of a handful of athletes All-Time, that I felt deserved to go out on top. He is and forever will be in my mind the Greatest of all time. Thank You Super Mario!!! The game of hockey has truely lost a major asset to their sport. Not only as a player, but as an ambassador, leader, owner, and idol!!

posted by phillygator at 08:03 AM on January 25, 2006

I am 29 years old and haven't had the priviledge to see all the greats of hockey. I have had the good fortune to grow up with Bossy and the Islanders, Gretzky and the Oilers, Lemieux and the Penguins, Yzerman and the Redwings, etc. When I reach the age my uncle was when he and I watched Bossy/Gretzky I can recall all the greats of our time hopefully to my children, grandchildren, nephews etc, as he did with me. Like those before who were able to see the Richards, Howes, etc, we had a chance to see some great individuals play on some great teams. Here's to you Mario, and the closing of an era in hockey, and to a new era.

posted by northern76 at 05:28 PM on January 25, 2006

here's a photo-retrospective if you missed it

posted by garfield at 08:32 AM on January 26, 2006

lemeiux was such a great player. im glad he was shown on the screen at the penguins game last night and applauded for. the penguins snapped a losing streasl last night too. they won 8-1

posted by siouxhocky at 03:31 PM on January 26, 2006

Some interesting Mario stats: 3.5 gpg against San Jose and 0.0 gpg vs Nashville & Columbus and favorite goalie to score on w/ 32 goals,John Vanbiesbrouck.

posted by njsk8r20 at 11:30 AM on January 27, 2006

Correction: 3.5 pts/gm vs SJ and 0.0 pts/gm vs. Nashville & Columbus

posted by njsk8r20 at 12:33 PM on January 27, 2006

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