On today’s date in 1988, Pittsburgh Penguins’ star centre Mario Lemieux scored five goals and tallied eight points against the New Jersey Devils to become the first NHL player to score a goal in all five possible game situations.
Lemieux scored a goal while playing five-on-five (or even strength); while on the powerplay; while shorthanded; while taking a penalty shot; and finally, on an empty net. Today, there is a sixth possibility: the shootout, which determines the winner of regular season games after a five-minute three-on-three overtime period.
The Royal Canadian Mint began selling hockey medallions in 1997, and that year, to mark Lemieux’s induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, a set of medallions was issued honouring him and the two other inductees, Glen Sather and Bryan Trottier. One set was issued in sterling silver with a mintage of 1,997 while another was issued in nickel. The series’ success led to yearly issues that would continue until 2001.