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Mario Lemieux Releases Statement On Friday’s Penguins/Islanders Game

(Pittsburgh) - “Hockey is a tough, physical game, and it always should be. But what happened Friday night on Long Island wasn’t hockey. It was a travesty. It was painful to watch the game I love turn into a sideshow like that.

“The NHL had a chance to send a clear and strong message that those kinds of actions are unacceptable and embarrassing to the sport. It failed.

“We, as a league, must do a better job of protecting the integrity of the game and the safety of our players.  We must make it clear that those kinds of actions will not be tolerated and will be met with meaningful disciplinary action.

“If the events relating to Friday night reflect the state of the league, I need to re-think whether I want to be a part of it.”

added 2:55pm, via Darren Dreger tweet,

Bill Daly: “We are entirely comfortable with how Friday night’s events were handled.  We have no other response to Mr. Lemieux’s statement.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mario+lemieux

Comments

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cs6687's avatar

Slow clap. Perfect statement.

Posted by cs6687 on 02/13/11 at 05:24 PM ET

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Where is his statement regarding the thuggery of Cooke?

Posted by tigerjeb on 02/13/11 at 05:30 PM ET

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As long as Colin Campbell runs discipline, supported by his crony GM’s and with collusion of the union, this is what you get.

Posted by timbits on 02/13/11 at 05:38 PM ET

wolverine's avatar

This comment is directed towards Gary Bettman.  Let’s see, the 2 greatest hockey players of the last 30 years, and maybe of all time,  don’t want to be a part of Gary Bettman’s NHL.  That, in and of itself, speaks volumes.  I hope the owners are listening.

Posted by wolverine on 02/13/11 at 05:41 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

Always a class act.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 02/13/11 at 05:42 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

Where is his statement regarding the thuggery of Cooke?

Did Cooke play Friday? No, he was SUSPENDED. People are stupid.

Posted by cs6687 on 02/13/11 at 05:42 PM ET

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He forgot to add “I mean, come on guys.  What if Crosby had been in and got hurt?”

Posted by tigerjeb on 02/13/11 at 05:43 PM ET

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Hey c***s***, that statement wasn’t for Friday, but just a general statement.

Posted by tigerjeb on 02/13/11 at 05:45 PM ET

Paul's avatar

tigerjeb, easy with the name calling please and the language too.

I appreciate it.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/13/11 at 05:47 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

Hey c***s***, that statement wasn’t for Friday, but just a general statement.

You realize the Penguins sat down with Cooke after the Ovechkin and Tyutin hits and told him to cool it with the dirty hits, right? Shero and Bylsma can only say so much. Please, get a full brain and then make a contribution to this thread.

Posted by cs6687 on 02/13/11 at 05:48 PM ET

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We must make it clear that those kinds of actions will not be tolerated and will be met with meaningful disciplinary action.

Lemieux could probably have made it clear by, I don’t know, persuading Matt Cooke that it’s possible to play physical, hard-hitting hockey without trying to cause serious injury to your opponent. Cooke isn’t the only Penguin who’s been suspended for dangerous play recently either.

Wasn’t Lemieux also Pens captain back when Ulf Samuelsson used to spend his days running into people’s knees? Could have made it clear those kinds of actions shouldn’t be tolerated before Cam Neely was nearly crippled by them.

I’ve got huge respect for Lemieux - he’s up there as the greatest player of all time - but he should get his own house in order before criticising the league’s.

Posted by fcjbencard on 02/13/11 at 05:50 PM ET

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Hey paul, I actually didn’t even type the letters out—I self censored. Won’t happen again.  This guy posting drives me nuts with his Iraq information minister level of spin.

Posted by tigerjeb on 02/13/11 at 05:50 PM ET

Paul's avatar

tigerjeb, thanks for the explanation.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/13/11 at 05:52 PM ET

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Where is his statement regarding the thuggery of Cooke?

Things Cooke has never done
-throw punches at Marc Savard after he was incapacitated
-try to Todd Bertuzzi somebody. In fact, in that exact Vancouver game, Cooke fought Steve Moore fair in the first period
-attack a goaltender after being ejected from a game

You see, Islanders’ fans, citing Cooke doesn’t work. Your teams’ actions are far beneath even the dirtiest player in the NHL.


And for what it’s worth, there are whispers that Cooke is going to be moved. If he is, there’s your statement.

Posted by StevieSteve on 02/13/11 at 05:52 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

This guy posting drives me nuts with his Iraq information minister level of spin.

You mean facts and logic? Just admit I know I what I’m talking about, and you don’t.

Posted by cs6687 on 02/13/11 at 05:52 PM ET

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And I’m certain the NHL will now fine Lemieux.  Making a statement was appropriate, but some of his language was ill-advised.

Posted by Unicorn Force from DC (but like everyone here, I'm not a local) on 02/13/11 at 05:52 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

What words? Travesty and sideshow? You think those are ill-advised? The NHL is setting up one of its players in the near future of getting killed from a sideshow or travesty. If someone of Lemieux’s stature is this pissed, the league should listen.

Posted by cs6687 on 02/13/11 at 05:56 PM ET

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Excuse me for not seeing it, but didn’t the NHL send a message?  What did Lemieux want, a 20 game suspension for Gillies?  Although Gillies is a goon, 9 games is a considerable amount.  It may be debatable, but an all out “failure”?  Come on!

Secondly, why is Lemieux simply opining on the matter?  Do you see Gretzky talking about it anywhere? I know that Mario’s an owner, but he probably shouldn’t be talking about this.  In my eyes, that’s up to Shero and Bylsma.  And for any of you claiming that Mario’s just “talking about the state of the game” or Gary Bettman, get real.  The ONLY REASON this is happening is because it involved the Pens.

Has Mario ever said anything like this before, in general, about the game?  No.

As great as he was, seems to me like Mario’s got his panties in a bunch.

Posted by BrandNewDream on 02/13/11 at 05:57 PM ET

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Perfect response by Daly.  And for the record, I’m a fan of neither team involved.

Posted by BrandNewDream on 02/13/11 at 05:59 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

Has Mario ever said anything like this before, in general, about the game?  No.

As great as he was, seems to me like Mario’s got his panties in a bunch.

You must’ve not heard of Mario’s garage league statement from 1992.

Posted by cs6687 on 02/13/11 at 06:00 PM ET

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One more thing: It’d be different if things like this were happening all over the league.  But they aren’t.  Mario’s comments correlate ONLY to Friday night’s game, and other isolated incidents, should they occur.  But it’s not as if this is a constant happening.  Heck, look back to the 70’s.  Much worse.

Decrying the state of the game as a sideshow?  Extreme overreaction, and off-base.

Posted by BrandNewDream on 02/13/11 at 06:02 PM ET

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This and this were messages. 4 games and 9 games is not.

Posted by StevieSteve on 02/13/11 at 06:02 PM ET

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CS,

I have, and I thought about that as I was writing my comment.  These two incidents couldn’t be more opposite.

The obstruction was a league-wide issue, with real and visible effects to the actual play of the game.  What happened Friday was not part of a bigger problem, only an isolated, yet important one.  It should be addressed, I agree.  Respect (more so in my eyes with head shots than other incidents) needs to motivate change.

But they can’t actually be compared.

Posted by BrandNewDream on 02/13/11 at 06:04 PM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

What did Lemieux want, a 20 game suspension for Gillies? 

Considering what Gilles did, I’m sure that’s exactly what he wanted.  Remember, we’re not talking about JUST taking a run at a guy into the boards, hitting him in the head and giving him a concussion - which is bad enough.  The guy proceeded to drop his gloves and punch the guy he just concussed as he was laying face down on the ice.  That’s beyond goonery…it’s borderline felonious.  And I’m not even including the fact that he stood and taunted Tangradi the entire time he was being attended to by the trainers…because that’s not against the rules, just the traits of a terrible human being.

And, honestly, how can a guy who does what I just mentioned above get ONE LESS GAME than a guy who jumped off the bench to protect his goalie.  Now, I’m not saying Godard doesn’t deserve 10 games, because he does…and that rule is in place for a reason.  I’m saying the 10 games should’ve been starters, and everything after should’ve been based off that.

Gilles should’ve gotten 15-20.  Martin at least 10.  Then you wouldn’t have heard a peep from Mario - who was, if you remember, one of the main guys that spoke out about the rules when the NHL turned into a clutch & grab league in the mid-late 90s.  Speaking out about the state of the game isn’t something he’s new to.

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 02/13/11 at 06:09 PM ET

wolverine's avatar

BrandNewDream,
Some valid points, but I beg to differ about the intended jab at Gary Bettman.  Yes, he’s an owner, as is/was Wayne Gretzky, when Wayne was humiliated by the league. Mario knows that.  He and Wayne talk.  When you question the “state of the league” and “whether I want to be a part of it” - that, my friend, is all on Gary.  That’s why Gary got an aide, Bill Daly, to say there will be no other response.  So just wash all that league dump off of your face, Mario, and we’ll see if we can alienate Mark Messier and Bobby Orr next week.

Posted by wolverine on 02/13/11 at 06:09 PM ET

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Whenever I want an experts opinion on toughness in the NHL, I go to Mario Lemieux.

That said, teams like Pittsburgh that relish in the advantages of having a dirty player on their team will receive very little sympathy from me when they are on the butt-end (and not always metaphorically) of the same kind of hockey.

Live by the elbow to the head, the slew foot and the late hit into the boards, die by the elbows to the head, slew foots, and late hits into the boards.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 02/13/11 at 06:10 PM ET

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Mario Lemieux, seems to be placing all of the blame on the Islanders, I don’t doubt that the Islanders initiated a lot of it, but the Penguins were just as guilty. 

Maybe Mario should leave, he quit the game one time (because their was too much “clutching, grabbing, and goonery)

The NHL is turning soft, thinking that people don’t watch the game because of fights, when in all reality more people would watch if there were more fights..

Posted by wingsnut25 from Cheboygan, MI on 02/13/11 at 06:11 PM ET

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You realize the Penguins sat down with Cooke after the Ovechkin and Tyutin hits and told him to cool it with the dirty hits, right?

One could argue that the Pens failed to control Cooke and only spoke with him AFTER the fact.  The Penguins control or lack thereof is evidenced by the fact that Cooke has continously crossed the line and repeatedly shown disrespect to opposing players.

Shero and Bylsma can only say so much.

Actually, Christine Solokowski, this statement is not that bright.  You clearly don’t know how to argue as nearly everything you say is a fallacy and ALWAYS resort to name-calling - the sign of a dimwit, effete tosser or micropenis sufferer…  Shero and Bylsma can bench him, suspend him, waive him, cut him.  Am I correct?  Tell me they couldn’t have been more proactive?

Here some advice, if I were you, I’d really stop with the “idiot” and “stupid” comments.  I’ll leave you with this quote:

It is better to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and resolve all doubt.

~Abraham Lincoln

Posted by Unicorn Force from DC (but like everyone here, I'm not a local) on 02/13/11 at 06:11 PM ET

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ALWAYS resort to name-calling - the sign of a dimwit, effete tosser or micropenis sufferer

Christine Solokowski

Pot, Kettle.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 02/13/11 at 06:18 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

Ha. Pens Fan in Baltimore. Ownage.

Posted by cs6687 on 02/13/11 at 06:22 PM ET

shazam88's avatar

Unicorn, those comments are way out of line. You ought to take some time and read things over before hitting submit in the future. Emotional arguments like yours always end up losing.

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 02/13/11 at 06:24 PM ET

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Very intelligent, both of you.  I’m certain that your HS is very proud of you both.  I love how there is nothing to stay relating to the argument. 

Carry on, gentlemen.  You are winners.

Posted by Unicorn Force from DC (but like everyone here, I'm not a local) on 02/13/11 at 06:26 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

I love how there is nothing to stay relating to the argument.

You are a hypocrite. You contribue nothing constructive to any thread. Just name-calling and other juvenile activity.

Posted by cs6687 on 02/13/11 at 06:30 PM ET

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You are beyond help, CS.  I feel for you.  Good luck to you.  I hope it all works out for you.

Posted by Unicorn Force from DC (but like everyone here, I'm not a local) on 02/13/11 at 06:32 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

OH UNicorn FART is leaving ? Mommy & daddy must want him to take out the Garbage ! He will be back in 10 minutes when he is done

Posted by Evilpens on 02/13/11 at 06:33 PM ET

pensfan29's avatar

This thread took an expected turn. Is this blog really all about name calling and fan wars?

Posted by pensfan29 on 02/13/11 at 06:41 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

You are beyond help, CS.  I feel for you.  Good luck to you.  I hope it all works out for you.

I present Exhibit A. It’s amazing Paul hasn’t found a way to ban you yet.

Posted by cs6687 on 02/13/11 at 06:42 PM ET

Paul's avatar

This thread took an expected turn. Is this blog really all about name calling and fan wars?

Posted by pensfan29 on 02/13/11 at 03:41 PM ET

No it is not.

Someone is going to challenge me right about now, but be warned, once banned, you don’t come back.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/13/11 at 06:44 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

My god, Pittsburgh, can your team be any bigger pansies??

What little respect I had for this team is gone. What a bunch of crybabies.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 02/13/11 at 06:48 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

I don’t understand how this is all on the Isles. Yes, they were goonish thugs, but the Pens hands weren’t clean either.

TRIVIA QUESTION - which team leads the league in fighting majors this year? Yep, they’re choir boys being victimized.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 02/13/11 at 07:05 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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