Today in Sports History: April 13

In 1997, former Canadian and Pittsburgh Penguin professional hockey player, Mario Lemieux, played in his last game in the National Hockey League (NHL). 

Lemieux played with the Penguins from 1984 until 2006. In 915 games played, he scored 690 goals, had 1,033 assists, and a total of 1,723 points. He was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1985, for his outstanding first season and also won the Hart Memorial Trophy for Most Valuable Player in 1988, 1993, and 1996. 

He was the recipient of the Ted Lindsay award for Most Outstanding Player in 1986, 1988, 1993, and 1996. He led the Penguins to two Stanley Cup Championships and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1991 and 1992. 

He also won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for his exemplifying sportsmanship in 1993 and the Lester Patrick Trophy in 2000 for his outstanding service to hockey in the United States. Lastly, he was also awarded the Art Ross Trophy for most points in a regular season in 1988, 1989, 1992, 1992, 1996, and 1997. Lemieux also played for Team Canada in 1988 in the Canada Cup and the Olympics in 2002. 

After the 1997 season, Lemieux decided it was time to retire. In his first year of eligibility, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame for his outstanding career and incredible accomplishments. He was also named to the NHL’s top 100 greatest players list.

In 1999, Lemieux bought the Franchise and then within a year in 2000, he came out of retirement. He continued playing until 2006 and after playing 17 seasons, Lemieux officially retired as a player, but continued to own the team. The team added three more Stanley Cup Championships while he was the owner in 2009, 2016, and 2017.

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