Mario Lemieux is a retired professional ice hockey player from Canada. He was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1984 to 2006, with pauses in between. He is the team’s major owner and chairman, having brought the Penguins out of bankruptcy. He’s largely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. He excelled in all aspects of the game, including playmaking, scoring, and puck-handling, as well as intangibles like imagination and anticipation. He was the owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins when they won two Stanley Cups in a row and a third in a row. He also led Team Canada to an Olympic gold medal, a World Cup championship, and a Canada Cup victory. He was the NHL’s seventh-leading all-time scorer at the time of his retirement, with 690 goals and 1,033 assists for an astonishing 0.754 goals-per-game average. Lemieux’s career was hampered by health issues such as a herniated disc and Hodgkin’s cancer, which limited him to 915 of a possible 1,428 NHL games and forced him to retire twice. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Walk of Fame in Canada. His career is marked not just by records, but also by dedication and perseverance in the face of serious health challenges.
Childhood and Adolescence
Lemieux was born in Montreal on October 5, 1965, to homemaker Pierrette and engineer Jean-Guy Lemieux. In the Ville-Émard area, he and his older brothers Alain and Richard grew up in a working-class family.
Until their father built a rink on the front lawn, the boys would practice in the basement with wooden kitchen spoons as hockey sticks and bottle caps as pucks.
The Career of Mario
The Pittsburgh Penguins selected Lemieux in the 1984 Entry Draft because they needed a natural goal scorer to boost their fortunes after finishing dead last the previous two seasons.
He participated in the NHL All-Star Game and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player for the first time. In 1984-85, he earned the Calder Memorial Trophy as the best rookie.
In 1989, his second five-goal performance was vital in a 10-7 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. He tied for the most goals and points in a playoff game in NHL history, but the Penguins lost the series.
He missed 50 games in the 1990–91 NHL season due to surgery for a herniated disk but returned to lead the Penguins to their first Stanley Cup victory over the Minnesota North Stars.
During his injury-plagued 1991–92 season, he only played 64 games. Despite missing numerous games, he contributed 78 play-off points to the Penguins’ Stanley Cup Final victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.
He made the stunning statement that he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in January 1993. He was forced to miss two months of play due to energy-draining radiation treatments, during which time the Penguins suffered.
He traveled to Philadelphia to play against the Flyers on the day of his final radiation treatment, scoring a goal in a 5-4 defeat but receiving a standing ovation from Philadelphia fans.
He scored his 600th career goal in his 719th game in the 1996-97 season, trailing Wayne Gretzky’s 600 goals in 718 games, and went on to have his ninth career 100-point season.
When he retired for the first time in 1997, he became the only player in franchise history to average more than 2 points per game (1494 points in 745 games) and was sadly mourned by his teammates.
The Pittsburgh Steelers were in financial trouble in 1999 and risked bankruptcy. Lemieux stepped in to buy the franchise and keep it in Pittsburgh, owing millions in deferred compensation.
He returned to the NHL in 2000, playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Despite only appearing in 43 games, he scored 76 points, giving him the greatest points-per-game average in the League that season.
He was the captain in the 2001–02 season, but he only played in 24 games, partly owing to injuries and partly because he wanted to be in good shape to play for Canada at the Olympics.
For the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, Lemieux was selected captain of Canada’s Winter Olympic squad. Canada won the gold medal with a 5-2 victory over the American team, fifty years after their last Olympic gold.
With injuries haunting his once-promising career and the financial pressures of the Penguins, he chose to call it a day on January 24, 2006.
He played 915 regular-season games in his career, scoring 690 goals and assisting on 1,033 others for a total of 1,723 points. He went on to become one of the finest players in the game’s history.
Achievements & Awards
Between 1988 and 1996, Lemieux won the Art Ross Trophy for Scoring Champion six times and the Hart Memorial Trophy for Most Valuable Player three times.
He was named the Lester B. Pearson Most Valuable Player four times by NHL players, as well as the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in 1993 for perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the game of ice hockey.
Between 1986 and 2001, he was a member of the First All-Star Team Centre and Second All-Star Team Centre squads. The players are chosen by the captains of the teams and NHL officials by ballot.
Quebec Premier Jean Charest bestowed the honorary title of Knight upon him, and in 2010, he was awarded the Order of Canada by then-Governor-General Michelle Jean for his contributions to the country and society.
In the 1987 Canada Cup, he set a tournament record by scoring 11 goals in nine games, the last of which was a last-minute goal that clinched the tie against the Soviet Union.
In one of the best individual performances in NHL history, he scored a goal in each of the five conceivable game circumstances in the same game against the New Jersey Devils in 1988.
Personal History and Legacy
Lauren, Stephanie, Austin Nicholas, and Alexa are the four children of Mario Lemieux and Nathalie Asselin, whom he married in 1993. The family resides in Sewickley, a wealthy Pittsburgh suburb.
When he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1993, he established the Mario Lemieux Foundation to support medical research. He is a co-founder of ‘Athletes for Hope,’ an organization that organizes athletes’ charitable efforts.
Estimated Net worth
Mario Lemieux is a $200 million net worth retired professional ice hockey player from Canada. Lemieux, often known as “Le Magnifique” and “Super Mario,” is widely regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time.
He won the Stanley Cup twice throughout his 17-year career as a player. He became the team’s owner in 1999, and after his playing career ended, he won the cup three more times.
This ice hockey star inspired the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center to name their Terascale System, which can execute up to 6 trillion calculations per second.
According to tradition, this ice hockey legend’s family would sometimes pile snow onto the living room carpet during his boyhood so that he and his brothers could practice indoors when it was dark.