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Lemieux, Pens Alum Scrimmage at CONSOL Energy Center

Tuesday, 12.20.2011 / 1:50 PM / Features
By Sam Kasan
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Lemieux, Pens Alum Scrimmage at CONSOL Energy Center
Mario Lemieux took a pass in the neutral zone and skated past a defender for a breakaway. Lemieux deked the puck, pulling the goalie out of the crease. Lemieux curled the puck to his backhand and with a little tap re-directed the rubber over the goal line as the goalie looked back helplessly.

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From the Archives...
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While a scene like that could have described many instances in the illustrious career of the Penguins co-owner and hockey Hall of Famer, it actually took place Tuesday afternoon at CONSOL Energy Center.

Lemieux and several Penguins alumni – including Mark Recchi, Bryan Trottier, Jay Caufield, Phil Bourque and Marc Bergevin – joined Penguins coaches and staff in an afternoon scrimmage in Pittsburgh.

Lemieux still flashed the same hands and skill that made him the most dynamic and talented player in NHL history.

“(Lemieux) makes the game look so easy,” Bourque said. “He glides around and the puck just comes onto his stick for no particular reason, other than who he is. Every once in a while he does something that makes you remember it wasn’t long ago that he was doing it for the Penguins.

“Everybody takes it up a notch and pays attention because if you blink you might miss something special that he does out there. It’s just good to see him out there.”

“Mario looks awesome,” Trottier said. “He looks like he’s enjoying himself.”

On game day afternoons in Pittsburgh, Penguins coaches Dan Bylsma, Tony Granato and Todd Reirden skate with other staff employees in what is known as the “Staff Game.” The staff game has been a tradition since general manager Ray Shero joined the organization in 2006.

“It’s always fun to get on the ice and scoot around,” Trottier said. “It was great seeing Recchi, Mario, Bourque. It’s just fun to be a part of the alumni, but anytime you skate with the staff it’s fun. No one whacks or hits me so that’s enjoyable.”

“It’s good to see all those guys,” Bourque said. “We might be a little fatter around the waist and more grays in the hair, but you still have a feel for those guys out there. It’s weird. Twenty years later and you just feel those guys out there because of the years you spent together.”

Many of the Pens alumni were in town to take part in the “Skate with the Greats” at Pens Pond on the South Side Monday evening.




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