Super Mario to Retire? states that Mario Lemieux may retire after his post-game comments.

Mario’s Farewell?

TFP Staff Writer

Thursday, April 03, 2003

The Fourth Period – We may have to say goodbye to Mario Lemieux once again.

In a lengthy and light hearted post game interview, Mario Lemieux gave the strongest indications to date that he has played his final NHL game.

“If this was my last game, it was a great experience,” Lemieux said. It was Lemieux who flashed vintage form in dominating the final stages of the 3rd period, leading the Penguins to a come-from-behind 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. “If it is my last game, I wanted to finish here,” he said. Lemieux ended his playing career in Philadelphia the first time. “I wanted to do something for the organization and the fans who supported us for so many years,” he said. If indeed, it was end, it was a grand finale. Lemieux set up Eric Meloche for the game winner with 10 seconds remaining.

For Meloche, a kid who grew up in the Penguins lockerroom with his dad, former Pens goalie and current scout, Giles Meloche, it was bitter sweet. “I hope he has many more goals and assists to come,” Meloche said. “But if it is (the final point), it’s an honor.”

Lemieux’s future has been the source of conjecture and rumor. Lemieux’s potential retirement has been on the minds of his teammates, last night Lemieux admitted that it has weighed heavily on his as well.

“Yeah its been on my mind for a while and its nice to finish the way we did,” Lemieux said. That potential for retirement was the reason Lemieux came back after his latest back injury, “My back wasn’t the best last week,” said Lemieux.

Lemieux will now talk to his close friends and family. He expects a decision before July 4th. “I’m not sure I want to part of a rebuilding process,” said Lemieux, who admitted he probably intimidated a few of his younger players.

Overall, Lemieux was pleased with his comeback, “I have no regrets. I had a chance to come back and play.”

16 Responses to Super Mario to Retire?

  1. Stuv_Dogg says:

    As good as a player as Lemieux is, as infinitely gifted as he really was, as much as he helped Canada to numerous championships, I’m not all that sad to see him go, if indeed he does call it quits.

    He moaned and griped a lot about the clutching and grabbing when he should have shut his yap and got on with elevating his game.

    Also, in recent games, he has looked disinterested at best, barely going through the motions to finish the season.

    I hate to say it and I know it sounds harsh, but its time for him to step aside and pass the torch for once and for all to todays youth.

  2. flyersruleclarkstillsucks says:

    see ya!

  3. habs_88_4life says:

    I hope he stays, just moves on to a different team like Colorado, Detroit ect;ect…..

  4. slapshot1975 says:

    If he does retire, it will indicate the end of the Penguins…at least in the city of Pittsburgh, which is a real shame.

    No fan in his/her right mind would pay for a ticket to see the Pens without Mario. They have the least amount of talent in the entire league, including Columbus.

    Sad, sad days for all Pens fans out there…..

  5. Kariya-09 says:

    I would hate to see Lemiuex to retire like this. He should go join another team and have a run at one last cup, he also only needs a few more goals to reach 700. It would be so sweet too see one of hockeys all-time best player go light it up once again with some decent linemates and compete for the stanely cup. GO SUPER MARIO!!!!

  6. Goldenscud says:

    Good Riddens to that whiney selfish prick. Go clutch and grad to the old folks home!

  7. DaMick says:

    wow..colorful opinons on the hockey’s arguably best player of all time….

    heres my take on a few questions

    Did Mario Give up on hockey in Pittsburgh?

    Not really,considering he DIDNT have to come back this time around to help try turn around this financially cursed team. i know he traded away Kovie for Cash & Marginal players [at best]

    Almost same type of deal for jagr a short time ago…which makes for a curious question…

    Has the NHL abandoned its smaller market teams?

    it seems like it has…..He never gave up on hockey there…he tried his best..& failed if he leaves this time

    Was Pittsburgh’s failure to be blamed on Mario’s shoulders?

    Nahhh..its a a combination of things….

    Bad Drafts…which noone seems to mention has killed this team …i mean…any recent impact draft guys?

    Bad trades….too many to mention…

    now who would be in charge of those 2 aspects of a team……the GM

    So the GM is to blame for the teams demise?

    a good portion of it…dont blame Mario for everything. But as Owner….hes failed to see the bottom line.

    A productive,good product…..

    Enjoy retirement Mario…you were incredible as a player , but marginal at best as a NHL owner.


  8. titans says:

    Good riddance! Now if only he would sell the team to someone who can restore it to a respectable if not great team like it once was!

  9. Goldenscud says:

    Think the Flyers have a chance at the Jennigs trophy? Going into tonight, they were 1 goal behind NJ.

  10. JeffBurnz09 says:

    Oh come on, does this guy ever stop complaining? There wasnt alot of Mario retiring at the start of the year, he’s just bitchy because the Penguins were terrible this year. When the team is competing and in the playoff hunt, he plays well and there’s no complaints. But when the team is terrible and out of the race, he half-asses his play and threatens to retire. Will he retire? Who knows, but it wouldnt shock me to see him play somewhere else next year.

    Face it, as much as Mario plays the good guy, and talks about doing whats best for the Penguins, he only does whats best for them when it’s what’s best for him as well. Mario came back to “save” the team and draw some interest from the fans to come out and watch the games. But he also came back to help the team make some money, which was owed to him in the first place. He used the Penguins as a training camp for himself to get in shape for the Olympics, and once he won his Gold Medal he gave up for the year. Wasnt looking out for the team there,was he? And if he’s so worried about trying to keep the team competitive, while saving money, why does he pay himself 5 million a year? Sure, he could make more somewhere else, and 5 million is nothing compared to what other stars make, but if I’m running a team,and I have nothing but the best interest of that team in mind, would I trade away the teams BEST PLAYER for “financial” reasons, while still paying myself a cool 5 million? 5 million for what exactly? showing up and playing when he feels like it?

    Make no mistake about it, Mario is one of the very best. But at this point, he’s useless to have on the team. He’s a super star player when he feels like it, but he sits games out anytime he wants to, and he plays like crap anytime he’s in a bad mood. If he was your average player, do you think he would be able to take a game off just because he wanted to? Or skate around doing nothing, waiting for the puck to come to you at the side of the net?

    There’s reasons to believe he won’t retire. He made this decision after a bad year, and he’s been down on the team for months now. It seems more of a frustration decision than him really wanting to give up. Even if he does retire this summer, don’t be shocked if he comes back in a year or two with a differant team.

  11. mikster says:


    He may retire, but will he be completly done?

    I’m talking about Super Mario. How can you blame this guy for being this down after what’s happend this season. I think that IF he found a good owner, that has deep pockets, that whole thing about him selling his share and becoming a free agent, will happen. But only if he finds a guy like that. If he doesn’t, he’ll probably hang em up. But what about one last hurrah for his country?

    Yes, I’m talking about the 2004 World Cup. And I’m talking about Mario not playing next season, but still comming back for the World Cup(I should hope you gathered that already). It’s just a thought, but you all saw how this guy lived for representing Canada last year at the Olympics, do you think he would come back one more time to help team Canada win the World Cup? It’s possible, let’s at least admit that. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but I’m just putting that idea out there.

    One thing that’s guarenteed, it would be a great way to say goodbye to the game. Playing in a tournament matching him against the best in the World. It would be similar to the way Bobby Orr said so long. One more great performance for his country against the very best. He wouldn’t be too old(38yrs)and we all know he could do it. Maybe the year off would be exactly what the Dr. ordered for Mario. He could rest his back, get as healthy as possible, and with a 10 game training camp scheduled before the tournament, as long as he stayed in shape, he would gell just perfectly with the team.

    So again, I want to state that I don’t know if this will happen, but rest assured, Wayne Gretzky will be giving it a lot of thought. And it will be up to Mario if he wants to go out with a bang, or just go silently out the back door, with a win vs Carolina. Let’s hope it’s the first one(unless your American)!

  12. saiklo says:

    I think he’ll come back for one last year before the lockout, a retirement tour will bring the Pens a lot of home sellouts, and I am sure his precious son wants to see him go one more campaign.

    But, if this was his last game, I am not surprised at all to see him go out in such a quiet and classy manner.

  13. Mahasch_Isyurhasch says:

    What dialect are you using?

  14. Tradedude says:

    i read the same article what? 5, 6 years ago lol.

    He’ll be back, not with the penguins though.

    off topic, i was reading the stats yesterday, i havent for about 3 months now, and i seen naslund with 104 POINTS! MAN I KNEW THIS GUY WAS GOD, BUT HOLY SHIT!

  15. defenestrate says:

    With a good last game on Sunday, Forsberg will beat him in the points race. Apparently, Swedes will dominate this year…

  16. defenestrate says:

    Okay – I love the guy (mostly) as a player (see my previous “Wayne Gretzky is a pussy”) submission. However, as a person, a spokesperson for the game, and an owner, I wish he’d just shut the hell up and stick to hockey.

    I have heard, from a reliable source that I cannot name because I have signed a confidentiality agreement, that he almost single-handedly ruined the chemistry in Team Canada’s locker room during the previous Olympics, because of his “me, me, me” attitude.

    And, while there is more than a grain of truth to his incessant harping about “clutch and grab”, it’s also true that many, many great players put up incredible numbers while enduring similar or worse treatment (Bossy, Dionne, Goulet, Kurri, etc. et al.)

    Personally, I wouldn’t want him to come to Colorado, because I don’t want to start giving the impression that this is where you come to do your Cup run before you die (Kurri, Borque, even Fleury before he went completely off the rails).

    Goodbye, Mario – Au revoir – “go gently into that good night” – and please don’t come here…

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