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Statement from Penguins co-owner Mario Lemieux

Sunday, 02.13.2011 / 2:30 PM / News

NHL.com

Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Mario Lemieux released the following statement Sunday afternoon:

"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. It was painful to watch the game I love turn into a sideshow like that.
 
"The NHL had a chance to send a clear and strong message that those kinds of actions are unacceptable and embarrassing to the sport. It failed.
 
"We, as a league, must do a better job of protecting the integrity of the game and the safety of our players.  We must make it clear that those kinds of actions will not be tolerated and will be met with meaningful disciplinary action.
 
"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."

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly responded Sunday with this statement:

"We are entirely comfortable with how Friday night's events were handled. We have no other response to Mr. Lemieux's statement."

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery