posted on Jul, 29 2003 @ 09:39 PM
Super Mario didn't flat-out say he was going to return, but he dropped plenty of hints that suggest an official announcement is just a formality.
According to published reports in Pittsburgh, Mario Lemieux will announce as soon as Wednesday that he plans on returning to the Penguins for a 16th
"If I feel 100 percent physically and mentally, I'd love to play," Lemieux said at a Penguins alumni golf outing yesterday in Oglebay in Wheeling, W.
When asked if he felt that way, Lemieux responded: "Yeah, absolutely. After a couple of months of rest, it's a chance to recharge the battery. I feel
Lemieux, who turns 38 five days before the Penguins' Oct. 10 season opener, said he has had no problems with his back this summer, even though he has
intensified his offseason training program, which began six weeks ago. According to the reports, he plans on hitting the ice by the third week of
Lemieux, who came out of retirement in December 2000, had been contemplating whether to again call it quits, but he seems more ready to prove he can
still be one of the league's top players.
Lemieux is the all-time NHL leader in points per game and also serves as the Penguins' owner. Staying in the lineup also might improve Lemieux's
chances of landing a new arena deal for the Penguins, who are trying to line up financing for a building to replace 42-year-old Mellon Arena.
Lemieux's return also would be a plus for new coach Eddie Olczyk, who has no coaching experience at any organized level of hockey.