Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Babble on.

My favourite beer-guzzling beer-sampling quirky lefty lawyer, Alan McFlintstone, has put up a post on the retirement of Mario Lemieux.

My favourite player of all time is Gretzky, but the post-1987 Lemieux ranks right up there. Mario has said himself that that stellar Canada Cup is where he really learned what it takes to win. Lemieux always had magic hands, but after that, he was magic with steel and presence. In my opinion, that was when he truly became Le Magnifique.

There are many moments to choose from to exemplify Mario's greatness, and I suspect mine might not make everyone's list. It was the play during the gold-medal game in Salt Lake City where he let Chris Pronger's pass go right through his legs to Paul Kariya for a Canadian goal. Who else would have even thought to try that?

I find it absolutely amazing that I remember him for a goal he created - and let there be no doubt he made it happen - where he doesn't even show up on the scoresheet. In fact, I remember it precisely because it doesn't show up on the scoresheet.

Not only was Lemieux a brilliant talent on the ice, he was a soft-spoken example of hockey class off it. What a great ambassador for the game, and what a great example for those wanting to follow in his footsteps.

Best of luck, Mario. And thanks for the many memories.

Babble off.


At 10:45 a.m., Blogger GenX at 40 said...

As soon as I read the sentence on Mario leaving the puck at Salt Lake the image was in my mind. That was amazing especially due to its simplicity and how it meant he was fully aware of what was around him.

At 2:48 p.m., Blogger Declan said...

Well said.

At 4:55 p.m., Blogger Dave said...

I put the winning goal from the '87 Canada Cup as number one, but the non-goal from 2002 is a close second.

At 8:47 p.m., Blogger Temujin said...

Bah! He's 6'5" tall, 200+ pounds, and he hardly ever hit, and rarely fought. Instead, he cried, complained, and whimpered for the last 15 seasons about how terrible the clutching and grabbing was.

Boo freakin' Hoo.

Loads of talent to be sure, and he'd still be playing if his body hadn't crapped out on him. But I just can't shake his wussiness factor.

The Penguins future looks a lot brighter. They've freed up a pile of salary now without Lemieux and Palffy on the player payroll. HE can focus on his duties as owner and truly do something to turn this ol' Penguins ship around.


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