After the advent of Wayne Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers in the NHL in the 1980’s, hockey fans everywhere we’re looking for the next player to take control as the top player in the league.
It had long been a Canadian player hoisted atop the league, from Rocket Richard to Gordie Howe to Bobby Orr to Wayne Gretzky. The NHL looks to the junior leagues to find their next stars, and out of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League came the league’s next superstar, Mario Lemieux.
Lemieux was drafted first overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1984. He was a highly touted prospect, having scored 562 points in three seasons of junior hockey. Lemieux was such a high profile prospect that there were rumors about teams tanking their season in order to secure the number one pick and draft him.
Lemieux made an impact right away. In his first career game, Lemieux scored a goal on his first career shot, a feat that showed early the great levels he would reach. Through his early years, Lemieux was a sole bright spot for the Penguins.
From early on, Lemieux became the first, but certainly not the last, to don the moniker, “The Next Gretzky.”
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The Mario Mosaic is made with over 21 thousand photos from fans and supporters of the Mario Lemieux Foundation whom generously donated their photos as well as monetary contributions. The Mosaic can be viewed during regular business hours free of charge at the CONSOL Energy Center.
1985-86 7-Eleven Credit Cards #15 – Mario Lemieux and Mike Bullard
Below you will find a collection of various hockey videos featuring Mario Lemieux. Mario Lemieux videos are now posted here …
Mario Lemieux played professional ice hockey for 17 seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL (betweeen 1984 and 2006) and is now the Penguins principal owner and chairman, after having fighting to keep the team from bankruptcy in 1999. Lemieux is regarded by most in the hockey community as one of the greatest players to ever play in the NHL.
He won the Conn Smythe Trophy twice while leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to winning two Stanley Cup championships, led the NHL in scoring six times, won the Hart Trophy as the NHL MVP three times.
The Mario Lemieux Story … continued from the page 2 Following his retirement, the Penguins financial status fell into disrepair. After the Penguins filed for bankruptcy in 1999, Lemieux stepped in and bought a controlling interest in the team, keeping the organization alive. Shortly thereafter, in 2000, Lemieux returned from retirement to play in the NHL. He retained much of his skill through his time off, being selected as a finalist in 2001 for the […]