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Mario Lemieux is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player. He is acknowledged to be one of the best players of all time. He played 17 seasons as a forward for the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League (NHL) between 1984 and 2006. He is currently the Penguins' principal owner and chairman of the board, having bought the team out of bankruptcy in 1999. He is the only person ever to win the Stanley Cup as both a player and an owner.
Mario Lemieux was born in Montreal to Pierrette, a stay-at-home mom, and Jean-Guy Lemieux, an engineer. He and his older brothers Alain and Richard grew up in a working class family in the Ville-Émard district. Mario began practicing hockey at age 3 in his basement; before using real equipment, he and his brothers used wooden kitchen spoons as hockey sticks and bottle caps as pucks. His father created a rink on the front lawn so that the boys could practice as much as possible, and according to family legend, the family sometimes packed snow onto the living room carpet so the brothers could practice indoors when it was dark.
He debuted on October 11, 1984, against the Boston Bruins and on his first shift, he stole the puck from Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque and scored a goal with his very first NHL shot against Pete Peeters. Later that season, Lemieux played in the NHL All-Star Game and became the first rookie to be named the All-Star Game's Most Valuable Player. Despite missing seven games during the season, Lemieux scored 100 points and won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the rookie of the year.
Perhaps the defining moment of Lemieux's season was on December 31, 1988, in a game against the New Jersey Devils. In that game, Lemieux scored eight points and became the only player in NHL history to score a goal in all five possible game situations in the same game: even-strength, power-play, shorthanded, penalty shot, and empty-net.
Lemieux's back injury progressed into a herniated disc, which subsequently developed an infection. On July 11, 1990, Lemieux underwent back surgery to fix the disk, and he missed 50 games in the 1990–91 NHL season.
Upon his first retirement, Lemieux became the only player to retire from the NHL with a greater than 2 points per game average (1494 points in 745 games). On November 17, 1997, Lemieux was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, becoming the ninth player in history to have the mandatory three-year waiting period waived.
On December 27, 2000, he returned to the NHL against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The game was nationally broadcast on ESPN2 in the U.S. and on Hockey Night in Canada. Lemieux proved that his scoring touch had not disappeared by scoring a goal and three points, including an assist 33 seconds into the first shift of his return.
On January 24, 2006, Lemieux announced his second and permanent retirement from professional hockey at the age of 40.
Career statistic Early career 1985-86 season 1986-87 season 1987-88 season 1988-89 season 1989-90 season Injury problems 1990-91 season 1991-92 season 1992-93 season Injury problems continue 1995-96 season 1996-97 season Retirement and Return
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