Yes, that really was Mario Lemieux
showing off his fast hands and deft shooting touch on the Consol Energy Center ice on Tuesday.
No, it had nothing to do with his Pittsburgh Penguins
' extended run of injuries. No. 66 isn't planning yet another comeback.
Lemieux was among a half-dozen former NHL players who took part in an informal afternoon game with Penguins staff members, including coach Dan Bylsma
and assistant coaches Tony Granato
and Todd Reirden
. The contests are part of the game-day routine whenever the Penguins are in Pittsburgh.
Having Lemieux and players such as Mark Recchi
, Bryan Trottier
, Phil Bourque
, Jay Caufield
and Marc Bergevin
participate was an added attraction. Lemieux, Recchi and Trottier have a combined 1,791 NHL goals -- each scored more than 500 -- and 4,681 points.
Bourque, one of the team's radio announcers, played with Lemieux on the Penguins' Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and 1992. Regardless, he still gets a thrill from playing alongside the 46-year-old Lemieux, even in an informal setting.
"Every once in a while he does something that makes you remember it wasn't long ago that he was doing it for the Penguins," Bourque told the team's website. "Everybody takes it up a notch and pays attention because if you blink, you might miss something special that he does out there. It's just good to see him out there."
Lemieux, the Penguins' co-owner, retired for the second and final time at age 40 in 2006 -- seven years after acquiring the team.
Earlier this week, the alumni players took part in a "Skate With the Greats" event at the Penguins' temporary outdoor rink, Penguins Pond, on Pittsburgh's South Side.