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Lemieux rips NHL, threatens to cut ties

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08:40 AM ET 02.14 | Mario Lemieux is not above criticizing the NHL, and his words as a sitting owner were particularly stinging. Lemieux effectively threatened to sever his ties to the league because of its handling of the mayhem during the Penguins' 9-3 loss Friday night to the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island in Uniondale. That game produced 346 penalty minutes and resulted in three players, one of them Penguins right winger Eric Godard, being suspended. Mr. Lemieux's prepared statement, as issued by the team: "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." ... "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."

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Mario Lemieux, Getty Images Mario Lemieux, Getty Images
February 14, 2011  09:46 AM ET

"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."

You can thank the league for everything you have...And then you pull a classless stunt like this!

February 14, 2011  09:55 AM ET

First of all it was one game. Secondly, it was the Isles who are just desparate these days and are likely to pull a stunt like this. And, finally, your team employs one of the dirtiest players in the league, so the whole kettle pot debate comes into play.

Seriously, tho, Campbell and the commish can only do so much. The players have to start showing a greater respect for the game and each other. So, Mario might want to visit his locker room after bashing the league.

I will give him credit for at least speaking up. Mario is one person who might get listened to. His slight hypocrisy aside, I'd like to see more players speak up as well.

February 14, 2011  09:56 AM ET

"Absolutely classless. This is why I would only have Lady Byng candidates like Matt Cooke on my team. An example for little children everywhere".

February 14, 2011  10:09 AM ET

I see Pens haters will be out in full force on this one.

February 14, 2011  10:17 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I see Pens haters will be out in full force on this one.

We can disagree without "hating".

February 14, 2011  10:17 AM ET

Mario...Gretz is awaiting your call. Keep the cracks in **** armor coming.

February 14, 2011  10:26 AM ET

No one's stopping you from selling your share of the Pens, Mario. Im sure you could find a buyer whenever you want...

February 14, 2011  10:32 AM ET

Mario....wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Mario always complained...maybe that's why his team does too. Didn't Montreal and Boston just have something similar and you don't here the whining from those teams?

February 14, 2011  10:43 AM ET

That was spineless...whoops. 16 goals in 2 games, it wasn't just the Pens. Someone check the lemonade.

Comment #10 has been removed
February 14, 2011  10:49 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I see Pens haters will be out in full force on this one.

I can't speak for all, but I say not a Pens hater but hypocrite hater.
two points here: As noted, a similar game with Mtl/Boston, buit no comment?
#2 A guy with Matt Cooke on his team may want to lay low on comments about fines/suspensions/discipline..
One other point: The punk that challenged the Pens' goalie...just that a punk. Someone should point him to the clip and let him see that Rickety Di called him out (before getting dropped with one punch, thereby ending his season at the very ;east) Maybe he should have challenged Rickety for embarrasing the team even futher.

February 14, 2011  10:58 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I see Pens haters will be out in full force on this one.

Some of you, Pens fans are succeeding in making yourselves loathsome. Just because someone expresses an opinion, doesn't make them "a hater." Problem is you're so thin skinned you can't handle a little criticism and, because of it, the Penguins are fast becoming one of the most hated teams in the league.

From top to bottom, starting with the Great Mario, the Pens have turned into a bunch whiners! Do you really think that because you've won a few cups and are playing in a new building everyone should be lining up to kiss the great Penguins arse?

Yes, the Pens have reached the mountain top. You've earned "elite" status. But, if you like it up there, stop your whining, pull your heads out of your own arses, grow a pair and defend it like a man because YOU KNOW everyone's gunning for you! They're coming to knock your head off to get you off of your lofty perch! Get used to it! That's a small price to pay for success.

If my opinion qualifies me a "hater" in your book, so be it! You can kiss my hemorrhoidal arse! But you ain't going to stop me or others from expressing their opinion by branding us as "haters."

February 14, 2011  11:04 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Some of you, Pens fans are succeeding in making yourselves loathsome. Just because someone expresses an opinion, doesn't make them "a hater." Problem is you're so thin skinned you can't handle a little criticism and, because of it, the Penguins are fast becoming one of the most hated teams in the league.From top to bottom, starting with the Great Mario, the Pens have turned into a bunch whiners! Do you really think that because you've won a few cups and are playing in a new building everyone should be lining up to kiss the great Penguins arse? Yes, the Pens have reached the mountain top. You've earned "elite" status. But, if you like it up there, stop your whining, pull your heads out of your own arses, grow a pair and defend it like a man because YOU KNOW everyone's gunning for you! They're coming to knock your head off to get you off of your lofty perch! Get used to it! That's a small price to pay for success.If my opinion qualifies me a "hater" in your book, so be it! You can kiss my hemorrhoidal arse! But you ain't going to stop me or others from expressing their opinion by branding us as "haters."

I got it roamer. You're undecided. :-)

BTW, I'm not a Pens hater either. I'm fast becoming disgusted with my own team, their inconsistency, lack of 60 minute efforts and whining about bad luck. They should also shut up, work harder and have some accomplishments to point to......and not individual awards.

February 14, 2011  11:06 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Didn't Montreal and Boston just have something similar and you don't hear the whining from those teams?

Good point!

February 14, 2011  11:19 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

I got it roamer. You're undecided. :-)BTW, I'm not a Pens hater either. I'm fast becoming disgusted with my own team, their inconsistency, lack of 60 minute efforts and whining about bad luck. They should also shut up, work harder and have some accomplishments to point to......and not individual awards.

Slapshot, you are a rare breed. They don't make many like you anymore. Your first line and the smile? Priceless!

I hope the Pens do get Kovalev and I hope Crosby can come back soon and we can all get back to talking hockey instead of this nonsense.

February 14, 2011  11:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Slapshot, you are a rare breed. They don't make many like you anymore. Your first line and the smile? Priceless!I hope the Pens do get Kovalev and I hope Crosby can come back soon and we can all get back to talking hockey instead of this nonsense.

LOL. Thanks. And "amen" to talking hockey and not other stuff. And, I'm hoping for the Caps not to go 0 and 5 on the road trip. And now, for the high point in the day, get the ice and slush of the porch and driveway before the next cold snap. Have a good day.

February 14, 2011  11:41 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

His slight hypocrisy aside

Slight?

February 14, 2011  11:41 AM ET

don't the pens lead the league in fighting majors?

It's ok for Mario to sick his little goon squad on whomever looks at Cindy the wrong way, but if other teams decide to put the wood in order to take their arrogance down a peg, its appropriate to threaten leaving? Leave Mario, quit, nobody outside of Pittsburgh could give a rats arse what you choose to do.

Ans as a recap of the event, I mentionned it before and I reiterate it again, Johnson was perfectly within his right to take out Dipietro, and I think that he did so with class, but having Fleury and Talbot (neither of which could fight their way out of a paper bag) yucking it up on the sidelines, right in the faces of their opponents, well that sent a strong message, and we got the end result, the Islanders were publicly humiliated one too many times.

I can't think of a single player that would laugh out loud when player gets KO'd, except on the pens you have two, and yet you preach class? Play like a man.

February 14, 2011  11:47 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Slight?

I was being polite out of deference to Lemieux, who was an amazing player.

 
February 14, 2011  11:49 AM ET
QUOTE(#18):

don't the pens lead the league in fighting majors?It's ok for Mario to sick his little goon squad on whomever looks at Cindy the wrong way, but if other teams decide to put the wood in order to take their arrogance down a peg, its appropriate to threaten leaving? Leave Mario, quit, nobody outside of Pittsburgh could give a rats arse what you choose to do. Ans as a recap of the event, I mentionned it before and I reiterate it again, Johnson was perfectly within his right to take out Dipietro, and I think that he did so with class, but having Fleury and Talbot (neither of which could fight their way out of a paper bag) yucking it up on the sidelines, right in the faces of their opponents, well that sent a strong message, and we got the end result, the Islanders were publicly humiliated one too many times. I can't think of a single player that would laugh out loud when player gets KO'd, except on the pens you have two, and yet you preach class? Play like a man.

And, let's not forget that this isn't new to the Pens. They have had plenty of players of Cooke's ilk the past 15 years. As for laughing after taking down a player, they pulled the same crap when Kasparitus knocked out Lindros. I'm not defending Lindros, but the Pens reaction was classless. All of this is now coming back to bite them and they start to cry to the media. Seriously, if you are going to dish it out learn how to take it.

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