Mario Lemieux Biography
Nick Name: The Comeback Kid
Sun Sign: Libra
Born in: Montreal, QC, CANADA
Famous as: Former Ice Hockey Star
Spouse/Ex-: Nathalie Asselin
father: Jean-Guy Lemieux
siblings: Alain, Richard
children: Alexa, Austin Nicholas, Lauren, Stephanie
City: Montreal, Canada
awards: 1997 - Hockey Hall of Fame
2009 - Stanley Cup champion
2002 - Olympic gold medalist
1996 - Hart Memorial Trophy
1997 - Art Ross Trophy
1992 - Conn Smythe Trophy
1996 - Lester B. Pearson Award
1993 - NHL Plus/Minus Award
1985 - Calder Memorial Trophy –
1987 - Chrysler-Dodge/NHL Performer of the Year
1989 - Dapper Dan Athlete of The Year
2000 - Lester Patrick Trophy
1993 - Bill Masterton Trophy
1990 - NHL All-Star Game MVP
1997 - NHL First All-Star Team
2001 - NHL Second All-Star Team
1985 - NHL All-Rookie Team
1984 - CHL Player of the Year
2000 - ESPN Hockey Player of the Decade
1998 - ESPY Award NHL Player of the Year
1993 - Lou Marsh Trophy
Mario Lemieux is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player. He played with the National Hockey League's (NHL) Pittsburgh Penguins between 1984 and 2006 with breaks in-between. He bought the Penguins out of bankruptcy, and is currently the team's principal owner and chairman. He is widely acknowledged to be one of the best players of all time. He was gifted in all departments of the game including, playmaking, scoring, puck-handling, and backed these with intangible skills such as, imagination and anticipation. He led Pittsburgh to two consecutive Stanley Cups and a third under his ownership. He also led Team Canada to an Olympic gold medal, a championship win at the World Cup of Hockey, and a Canada Cup. At the time of his retirement, he was the NHL's seventh-ranked all-time scorer with 690 goals and 1,033 assists, at an incredible 0.754 goals-per game average. Lemieux’s career was plagued by health problems including spinal disc herniation and Hodgkin's lymphoma that limited him to 915 of a possible 1,428 NHL games forcing him to retire twice in his career. He was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame and The Hockey Hall of Fame. His career is not just about records but of dedication and determination in the face of severe health issues.
- Lemieux was born on October 5, 1965 in Montreal to Pierrette, a home-maker, 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.
- The brothers would practice in the basement using wooden kitchen spoons as hockey sticks and bottle caps as pucks until their father created a rink on the front lawn.
- Lemieux was picked in the 1984 Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins, who wanted a natural goal scorer to improve their fortunes as they had finished dead last in the previous two seasons.
- He played in the NHL All-Star Game and became the first rookie to be named the All-Star Game's Most Valuable Player. He won the Calder Memorial Trophy for top rookie in 1984-85.
- His second five-goal performance helped in a 10-7 victory against Philadelphia Flyers in 1989. He tied the NHL record for most goals and points in a postseason game, but the Penguins lost the series.
- He underwent surgery to fix a herniated disk, and missed 50 games in the 1990–91 NHL season, but returned to lead the Penguins to their first Stanley Cup defeating Minnesota North Stars.
- He played only 64 games in his injury-plagued 1991–92 season. Despite missing several games, he helped The Penguins sweep the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final with 78 play-offs points.
- In January, 1993, when he made the shocking announcement that he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. Forced to undergo energy-draining radiation treatments, he missed two months of play during which period Penguins struggled
- On the day of his last radiation treatment, he flew to Philadelphia to play against the Flyers, and scored a goal in a 5-4 loss but was accorded a standing ovation by Philadelphia fans.
- In the 1996-97 season, he scored his 600th career goal in his 719th game behind Wayne Gretzky's 600 goals in 718 games and went on to put up his tenth career 100-point season.
- Upon his first retirement in 1997, he became the only player to retire with a greater than 2 points per game average (1494 points in 745 games) and was sorely missed by his team.
- In 1999 the Pittsburgh team was mired in financial difficulty and faced bankruptcy. Lemieux, owed millions in deferred salary, stepped in as to buy the team and keep it in Pittsburgh,
- In 2000, he returned to the NHL against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Despite playing in only 43 games, he scored 76 points, with the highest points-per-game average that season in the League
- In the 2001–02 season, he was the captain but only appeared in 24 games, partially due to injuries and also due to the reason that he wanted to be in good condition to play for Canada at the Olympics.
- Lemieux was named captain of Canada's Winter Olympic team for the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. Fifty years after their last Olympic title, Canada won the gold with a 5-2 victory over the American team.
- With injuries plaguing his once-brilliant career, and with the burden of the Penguins' financial woes, he decided to retire on January 24, 2006
- His final career totals include 915 regular season games played, scoring 690 goals and assisting on 1,033 more for 1,723 points, He became one of the greatest players ever to play the game.
- Lemieux won the Art Ross Trophy given to Scoring Champion 6 times in his career, was thrice winner of Hart Memorial Trophy for Most Valuable Player between 1988 and 1996.
- He won the Lester B. Pearson Most Valuable Player as voted by NHL players four times and the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in1993 for showing perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.
- He was part of the First All-Star Team Centre or Second All-Star Team Centre teams, between 1986 and 2001. The players are selected through ballot by the captains of the teams and NHL officials.
- He was received the honorable title of Knight from Quebec Premier Jean Charest, and in 2010, he received the Order of Canada from then-Governor-General Michaëlle Jean for his services to the nation and society.
- Playing in the Canada Cup of 1987, he set a tournament record 11 goals in 9 games; his last one was a last minute goal that clinched the tie against the Soviet.
- In 1988, against New Jersey Devils, in one of the greatest individual performances, he became the only player in NHL history to score a goal in all five possible game situations in the same game.
- Mario Lemieux married Nathalie Asselin in 1993 and they have four children: Lauren, Stephanie, Austin Nicholas and Alexa. The family lives in the affluent Pittsburgh suburb of Sewickley.
- He created the Mario Lemieux Foundation in 1993 when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma to fund medical research projects. He co- founded ‘Athletes for Hope’, an organization that streamlines charity activities of athletes
- The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center nicknamed their Terascale System capable of performing up to 6 trillion calculations per second after this ice hockey star.
- A story goes that during his childhood this ice hockey legend’s family sometimes packed snow onto the living room carpet so he and his brothers could practice indoors when it was dark.
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