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The Pittsburgh Penguins, end the previous forty-plus years, have turned themselves into one that the most storied franchises in the history of the nationwide Hockey League. Today, led by their young captain, Sidney Crosby, the Penguins have actually proven year after ~ year come be one of the NHL’s many successful franchises, and also boasting the location of Stanley Cup champions in 2009.

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There has actually been one guy who has been absolutely an important to the framework of the franchise ever since he was presented to the city the Pittsburgh as a young eighteen-year-old out of Montreal. That one male is Mario Lemieux. Currently residing in Sewickley, PA, v his wife and also four children, Lemieux is one of two present owners the the Penguins, becoming the only human being to victory the Stanley Cup both as a player and also as an owner. Mario purchased the Penguins in 1999 to conserve the team native bankruptcy, and also eight years later, do an commitment for a new arena, the Consol power Center, that would not just prevent the Penguins from gift relocated, yet keep lock in Pittsburgh because that the next 30 years. That course, Mario’s days on the ice room what the sports world will always remember.

Destined for Hockey Greatness

Lemieux to be born in Montreal, Quebec, together the youngest of three sons come Jean-Guy and Pierrette. Among his older brothers, Alain, uncovered his means to the NHL because that a brief period, even playing one video game as a Penguin alongside Mario. In your youth, Mario and his brothers would usage anything sitting approximately the residence to exercise hockey. At some point their dad crafted an ice cream rink in your front garden for them to play on. Follow to old stories passed on by his family, they would load snow top top the life room carpet so the guys could continue practicing as soon as it became too dark outside.

At the period of fifteen, Lemieux began playing because that the Laval Voisins of the QMJHL, a junior hockey league. He walked into the organization with the utmost confidence, predicting that he would certainly break league records. In 1983, his last junior season, he put up 133 goals, breaking man Lafleur’s twelve-year-old document of 130. He collection the organization record that year for points in a solitary season also with 282 points. That did all of that in a just seventy games. Transparent Lemieux’s three years of junior hockey, he amassed an significant 562 points.

Mario do a surname for himself. Early on on, he was meant to be a sure-fire superstar as soon as drafted, for this reason fueling competitions for groups to end up at the very bottom the the standings in order to secure him for their team.

Mario joins the Penguins

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Mario to be drafted through the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL’s 1984 entrance draft, i m sorry may as well be dubbed the Mario Lemieux Sweepstakes. Lemieux do his presence recognized by scoring his an initial career score the very first time he touch the puck as a Penguin. He differentiated himself over all rather in his draft class by being called to the All-Star team together a rookie, and also being the just rookie come be called the MVP of the All-Star game.

Over the food of his seventeen-year expert career, Lemieux an ext than lived up to the expectations that were put upon him. That made a surname for himself as one of the most dangerous and decorated scorers the video game has ever witnessed.

During his career, Mario collected countless awards, such as the Hart Memorial Trophy (league MVP) top top three various occasions, the art Ross Trophy (league leader in points), the Lester B. Pearson award (league MVP vote by the players) five various times, and also the Calder Memorial Trophy (rookie the the year).

He holds one document that, though not officially recognized by the NHL, is always held close come the understanding of Penguins fans. On new Year’s Eve, 1988, Mario became the just NHL player come score 5 goals in five different ways. He score a score at complete strength, or 5 on five, a strength play goal, a shorthanded goal, a penalty shot, and also an empty net goal. Native a team standpoint, Lemieux winner back-to-back Presidents Trophies and Stanley cups as the captain that the Penguins in 1991-92. In both years, he won the Conn Smythe Trophy together the MVP that the playoffs. As a member that Team Canada, Mario to be a crucial component in the loss of Team USA for the gold Medal in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Mario’s on-the-ice achievements, while nothing brief of miraculous, were certainly hindered through the numerous serious physics ailments the he was compelled to overcome. His first obstacle was a back injury which arisen into a herniated disc in 1990. The missed over fifty percent of the adhering to season, and also despite the incredible pain he was facing, Lemieux led the Penguins come their an initial Stanley Cup, and also won the Conn Smythe Trophy after ~ leading every players in points.

Mario’s best Challenge

The 1992-93 season began off, because that Lemieux, with much more promise than any other. He went on a tear that twelve games in i beg your pardon he scored at least one goal–a Penguins’ record. He to be on pace to compete with Wayne Gretzky’s records of 92 goals and also 215 point out in a solitary season. This tremendous run involved a screeching halt on January 12, 1993, once Lemieux do a shocking announcement the he had actually been diagnosed v Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He missed 2 months of the season while experience radiation treatments. The critical day that his treatment corresponded with a game versus the Penguins’ archrivals, the Philadelphia Flyers. The generally brutal philadelph fans gave Lemieux a was standing ovation prior to a video game in i beg your pardon Lemieux recorded a goal and also an aid in a 5-4 loss.

Mario was twelve point out behind the leader because that the league’s scoring race as soon as he do his return, however with the help of a seventeen game winning streak, he winner the scoring race and also the Penguins earned the many points in the NHL because that the season. After the season, Lemieux had his 2nd back surgery, resulting in him to miss out on sixty gamings in the following season and the whole 1994-95 season. When he make his return, he come back, once again, to command the NHL in points, win his 3rd MVP award.

The Penguins were got rid of in five games in the an initial round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 1997. Every one of his miscellaneous injuries had actually taken too much of a toll on his body, and thirteen year after Lemieux’s NHL job started, the ended, or so us thought. The announced his retirement, and also was inducted right into the Hockey room of Fame later that year, being one of a select few to have the causing obligation three-year waiting period waived.

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Winning the Stanley Cup together both Player and also Owner

Lemieux bought the Penguins in 1999 v a promise to store the team from relocating out that Pittsburgh, or maybe folding altogether. The following year the made his comeback to the NHL, again as a Pittsburgh Penguin. He kept his video game at a high level, top the league in point out per video game every year, however his health required him come miss substantial chunks of gamings each season. The announced his last retirement in 2006. The Penguins went on a dry spell by no making the playoffs indigenous 2001 to 2007. It wasn’t until June 12, 2009, the the Penguins aided Lemieux make history by win the Stanley Cup end the Detroit Red wing in seven games, making that the only human being to success it together both a player and an owner.

His career has helped put him in the conversation as among the ideal hockey football player of all time, together with Wayne Gretzky and also Bobby Orr. The is fun to imagine, however, how his job would have actually played the end if he had actually remained healthy.

In enhancement to every one of Lemieux’s success in command that the game, he continues to make a positive influence off the ice. In 1993, the same year he to be diagnosed through Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Lemieux produced the Mario Lemieux structure which provides resources for promising medical research projects. The foundation also supports other establishments such as the Leukemia Society, the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the college of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, the Lupus foundation and the Children’s home of Pittsburgh.

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Mario likewise joined with many other athletes in beginning another charity organization, Athletes for Hope. Lemieux also opened his home to young Pittsburgh Penguin star football player to mentor them and also give castle a place to live until they got cleared up in the city. Also though Mario Lemieux is no native-born to Pittsburgh, he has actually made the city proud and Pittsburghers have declared him as among their own.