The Lou Marsh Legacy - Honouring Canada's Top Athletes

Mario Lemieux

Hockey

1993


Photo of Mario Lemieux hoisting the Stanley Cup

Photo of Mario Lemieux hoisting the Stanley Cup

Date
June 1, 1992
Collection
Paul Bereswill/Hockey Hall of Fame

Lethal Weapon 4!

The Pittsburgh Penguins are typically a yappy bunch of guys. Not so when Mario Lemieux entered the team dressing room on January 13, 1993, for the first time after learning that he would undergo radiation treatments to battle Hodgkin’s disease, a form of cancer. The room fell completely silent, but then cancer has a way of doing that to people.

The 1992-1993 season started off very promising. With two consecutive Stanley Cups in hand, Mario was leading the scoring race and tracking Wayne Gretzky’s all-time record of 92 goals (1981-1982) and 215 points (1985-1986) when he learned of his illness. In Mario’s nine NHL years to date he has already mounted three comebacks due to injury. To the delight of his teammates, each was marked with an immediate return to his typically lethal scoring offensives. This was different. With the “C” word in play everyone shifted their hopes for his recovery, survival for that matter. Mario bravely and immediately faced his radiation regimen with playoffs still on his mind.

He would not disappoint. On the day of his last radiation treatment he flew to play the Philadelphia Flyers and pulled off a goal and an assist. He then promptly helped his team embark on an unprecedented romp winning a record 17 NHL games in a row for a first place finish overall. Twelve points behind Buffalo Sabres’ Pat LaFontaine, after his unwelcome break, Mario leap-frogged him by twelve points to win the scoring derby with 160 points in 60 games played, the lowest game count by any scoring champion. And get this…part of that late season tear included a 16 game stretch with 27 goals and 24 assists for 51 points!

The Penguins suffered a heart-breaking over-time loss to the New York Islanders in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final, but everyone was gratified that the big strong scoring magician was healthy and back in the hunt.

Now that’s a comeback.

Lemieux wins Lou Marsh Adobe PDF Transcript


Highlights

1984
Calder Trophy
1986, 1988, 1993, 1996
Won Lester B. Pearson Award
1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997
Art Ross Trophy
1991
Conn Smythe Trophy
1992,1992
Stanley Cups - Pittsburgh Penguins
1993
Lou Marsh Memorial Award
2002
Salt Lake City Olympics – Gold medal, Canada