Munich (SID) – To understand the importance of Mario Lemieux to the Pittsburgh Penguins, it is enough to look back at a time when he became the savior of the ice hockey club from the city of Steelworks. At the end of the 1983/84 season, the franchise established in 1967 in the National Hockey League (NHL) was on the ground. Neither team was worse, with some spectators at the home game carrying bags of paper over their heads so that a move from Hamilton / Canada was discussed, if not recognized.
Lemieux saved the penguin in many ways
But: There was still the draft. The Penguins had the first access right – and of course they chose this Mario Lamieux, born October 5, 1965 in Montreal / Canada, who was so good as a teenager that observers compared him to Wayne Gretzky Was – because Gretzski wore “99”. , Then his mentor Bob Perno suggested Lemieux to take “66”. After close negotiations, Savior signed a three-year contract with the Penguins.
Lemieux kept what everyone had promised him. He became the penguin of penguins: the spectators returned, a trick no longer an issue. Lemieux himself collected personal best points and awards – but that didn’t happen until the 1990/91 season when he led the “Pens” to win the Stanley Cup for the first time. Lemieux missed the first 50 games because of orthopedics. He scored 44 from 23 matches in the play-offs.
A year later, the Penguins again won the Stanley Cup, Lemieux was voted MVP of the play-offs and then signed a seven-year contract – at the time of the NHL record – for $ 42 million. Then on January 12, 1993, a major shock: Lemieux announced that he had detected Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a fatal disease of the lymphatic system. He started radiation therapy. He returned on March 2 – and scored immediately after 60 seconds.
Due to his permanent back pain, Lemieux resigned in 1997 – the result crashing the Penguins again. On 13 October 1998, he had to file for bankruptcy. Lemix again became the savior. He took over the Penguins with a group of investors and became his club boss – a job he had to quit for a few years as he played himself again from 27 December 2000 to 16 December 2006. Then finally it was over.
After the Penguin sales failed in October 2006, Lemieux’s group of investors entered into an agreement with the city in March 2007 to build a new hall. Part of the contract: The Penguins will remain in Pittsburgh until 2037. Thanks to Lemieux.
Article from 01/12/2021