Mario Lemieux (born October 5, 1965) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and current owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins….who played parts of 17 National Hockey League seasons with the team from 1984 to 2006….while assuming ownership in 1999. Dubbed The Magnificent One or Le Magnifique….as well as Super Mario….he is widely acknowledged to have been one of the best players of all time…..who was a gifted playmaker and fast skater despite his large size….with an uncanny ability to beat defensemen with fakes and dekes.
Le Magnifique led Pittsburgh to consecutive Stanley Cup championships in 1991 and 1992…..and while under his ownership the Penguins have won additional titles in 2009, 2016, and 2017…..making him the only man to have his name on the Cup as both a player and an owner. Super Mario also led Team Canada to an Olympic gold medal in 2002….a championship at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey….and a Canada Cup in 1987. He won the Lester B. Pearson Award….as the most outstanding player voted by the players four times….the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player (MVP) during the regular season three times….the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s points leader six times….and the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoffs MVP in 1991 and 1992. He is the only player to score one goal in each of the five possible situations in a single NHL game….which is a feat he accomplished in 1988. At the time of his retirement, he was the NHL’s seventh-highest ranked career scorer with 690 goals and 1,033 assists….. and he ranks second in NHL history with a 0.754 goals-per game average for his career behind only Mike Bossy (0.762). In 2004, he was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame.