Mario Lemieux

Category: All Stars & MVPs, NHL
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Mario Lemieux is a Canadian former professional hockey player in the National Hockey League who spent his 17 seasons in the league with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Mario has received praise as one of the greatest hockey players of all time whose size matched with unprecedented skill made him a real threat to opposing defenses. In probably Mario’s most successful year as a player in 1993, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin ’s disease and vowed to help others with the same plight. His Mario Lemieux Foundation has raised millions of dollars to help develop a cure for cancer and provide several research and family centers focusing all aspects of cancer treatment and the families involved.

Sports Speaker Mario’s career as a player for the Penguins was plagued with health problems but it only showcased the resilience and incredible character that he possesses. He was an All-Star from the start of his career in 1984, scoring a goal in his first shot attempt ever in the NHL and also being named to the All-Star Game and winning the game’s MVP award as a rookie. He played a major part in restoring the franchise from the depths of the NHL standings and led the team to 2 back-to-back Stanley Cup titles in 1991 and 1992. The first of 2 retirements came at the end of the 1997 season after dealing with a herniated disk, back injuries, and countless radiation treatments for his Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

In 1999 he would buy the Penguins organization and resurrected it from bankruptcy and remains the team chairman and principle owner today. A year later he returned to the ice as a player/owner for 6 years before retiring for the final time at age 40. He won his third Stanley Cup title as an owner in 2009 and is the only person to have won the Stanley Cup as a player and an owner. A review of Mario’s career details the perseverance of a man who would not let cancer or any other health issues keep him from greatly impacting the sport he loves.