Toronto – Today is the 45th birthday of the most talented player ever to lace up a pair of skates: Mario Lemieux. Now I know, a lot of you will argue about Bobby Orr or Wayne Gretzky but hardly any of you have seen Orr play and you can’t honestly say someone who took this picture would be considered the best ever:
Instead of petty arguments, lets just take this time to celebrate Le Magnifique
On the heels of Lebron James’ decision, it’s amazing to see how much Mario has done for the city of Pittsburgh. Not only did he not leave Pittsburgh at any point of his career, Mario purchased the team when it was bankrupt, helped rebuild the team, got a new arena and in the process, won a cup as an owner. Now Pittsburgh is back where they belong, on top of the Eastern Conference, beating down on the Capitals.
I still remember when the Penguins were making their first run at the Cup in ’91. During the second round of the playoffs, I made a bet with my cousin Steve that the Penguins would win the cup. The bet was $10. That was two months allowance. So when they crushed the North Stars 8-0 in game six, I was laughing like a maniac. The North Stars were so embarrassed they had to move to a city where no one knew anything about hockey – Dallas.
I also remember being very very pissed off when it was announced Lemieux had Hodgkins Disease during 92-93 season. He was going to break Gretzky’s points and goals total that year. He had 160 points and 69 goals in 60 games that year, a bunch of which was after chemo. You do the math over 80 games. He even spotted poor Patty Lafontaine like 30 points after he came back, but took it back like a bully in a school yard. Sadly, that season will be forever ruined by David Volek.
Here are some awesome Lemieux plays:
Did you know that Lemieux once scored all 5 types of goals in one game? Regular, Powerplay, Shorthanded, Penalty Shot, Empty Net? Try to do that in NHL 11. It’s impossible. Also, he slept with your mother afterwards:
Oh ya, he also scored a goal on his first shift. in his first game. on his first shot.
Remember the 2002 Olympics? Right after the 1998 Bobby Clarke, Rob Zamuner fiasco, the Canada team had lots to prove. Led by Mario, they won the gold. People often forget that Dominik Hasek was incredible during this era and people were scared he’d lead his team to gold again. What does Mario do? score two goals on him. Let’s not forget the gold medal game. This is the best ever non-goal player by a hockey player:
So yeah.. Happy Birthday!
(also Patrick Roys birthday. no one likes him though)