Super Mario Returns!
Mario Lemieux will return to the ice and suit up for a game for the first time since his retirement in 2006. But hopes of having Sid the Kid and Super Mario on the same line for a great season is still a pipe dream. Lemieux will suite up for the alumni game which will be part of the popular NHL Winter Classic.
The outdoor game between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins, which will air on NBC New Year’s Day, has turned into one of the NHL’s most popular events. For one time a year the game is shifted to an outdoor rink, something many of the players know all too well as they grew up playing outdoors as kids.
Having Lemieux added to the roster has brought out former Pen stars Paul Coffey, Ron Francis and Bryan Trottier, along with recently retired Bill Guerin. Peter Bondra will head up the Caps alumni team.
“We all grew up playing on outdoor rinks, so we’re really looking forward to having this chance to skate on the Winter Classic rink at Heinz Field,” Lemieux said. “There is so much history between the Penguins and Capitals and it will be good to get together and see friends on both benches.”
The return of Mario Lemieux to the ice highlights Friday’s announcement by the Pittsburgh Penguins of an alumni game as part of the festivities at this year’s Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
The game against a team of Washington Capitals alumni, to be played on New Year’s Eve Day at Heinz Field — site of the Classic — will mark the first time Lemieux, the owner of the Penguins, will play in an organized game since he announced his final retirement as a player in 2006.
It comes a day before the current-day Penguins play the current-day Capitals in the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit excited to hear the news of Mario’s return. Having one of the greatest players ever in the NHL back on the ice is something to make any hockey fan tune it. And on that note here’s one of my favorite clips of Lemieux as he scores a goal during a faceoff. Yeah, you have to see it to believe it.