After Wayne Gretzky, known as The Great One, you could make a strong argument on Mario Lemieux being the greatest hockey player of all time.
Nobody comes close to Gretzky, but the way Super Mario dominated the NHL for such a long time is nothing but impressive. Lemieux is Mr. Pittsburgh Penguins, and how he saved the franchise is incredible.
He was drafted first overall by the Penguins in 1984, but he had to wait until 1991 to win his first Stanley Cup. A year later, the Penguins won again. Lemieux played parts of 17 seasons in the NHL, never for another team than Pittsburgh, and for several seasons, he was both the team’s superstar on the ice and the owner of the franchise. And it was never any doubt that Mario would become the player he ended up being.
Mario Lemieux grew up in Montreal with a family where hockey was everything. His mom and dad, Jean-Guy and Pierrette, did everything so their kids could play as much hockey as possible, but they still wanted more. Mario couldn’t get enough.
When The Athletic did a piece on how Mario Lemieux became the world player we all know him for, we got some amazing information on what really happened during his childhood. For example: According to the outlet, Mario and his brothers, Alain and Richard, had a babysitter in their home. They wanted to watch Hockey Night in Canada but weren’t allowed. So what did the boys do? They simply locked the babysitter in the bathroom.
Another funny story:
Their mother, Pierrette, would pack snow over the carpet in the hallway. She then left the door open to the freezing air. The snow froze, and the three kids could skate in the house.
When hearing things like this, it’s no wonder Mario became a world-class player. And we’re, of course, very happy about it.