On today’s date in 1965, legendary NHLer Mario Lemieux was born in Montreal, Que.
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.
Widely acknowledged as one of the greatest hockey players of all time, Lemieux led the Pittsburgh Penguins to two consecutive Stanley Cup Championships in 1991 and 1992. While he was serving as owner, the Penguins won a third championship in 2009, making Lemieux the only person to have his name on the Cup as both a player and an owner.
Lemieux also led Team Canada to a Canada Cup in 1987; an Olympic gold medal in 2002; and a championship at the 2004 World Cup. He won the Lester B. Pearson Award as the most outstanding player as voted by the players four times; the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player during the regular season three times; the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s points leader six times; and the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1991 and 1992. At the time of his retirement, he was the NHL’s seventh all-time scorer with 690 goals and 1,033 assists. He ranks second in NHL history with a 0.754 goals-per game (GPG) average throughout his career, second only to New York Islanders legend Mike Bossy, who had an average of 0.762 GPG.