3.18.24 Lemieux Mailbag

RALEIGH, NC. - Celebrating his 28th birthday and inking a one-year contract extension earlier this month, Brendan Lemieux joined us as the special guest for this week's mailbag.

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Your mother is from North Carolina. Did you grow up visiting here? Do you have any favorite memories? - @TrixieB07199836

Yeah, we visited all the time.

My mom is from Boone, so we used to come to Raleigh a lot before going there.

We spent so much time there and we still have a house there. We just finished a cabin and we plan on spending a lot more time there in the coming year.

We absolutely love it there and we love it here.

What similarities & differences does he see between his play and how his dad played? - @LBHMNC

That's a good question.

I think we play pretty similar, just different eras of the game.

People who have watched us both play say we have a lot of similarities. He obviously had a lot of success, but the game was so different when he played. It was a lot more physical.

There was more time for players. It was simpler for guys who had the ability to finish.

He could play with high-end-skill guys.

He always wanted me to play the way that he did, and I always tried my best to do that.

3.27.24 Lemieux

Claude Lemieux of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates with the Stanley Cup after winning game 4 against the Florida Panthers during the 1996 Stanley Cup playoffs on June 10, 1996 at Miami Arena in Miami, Florida

Tell your story about the hockey name 'Pepe'. How did it come to be, who gave it to you, and what did you think of it? Personally, I love it. Always curious to hear the back story. - @RealCraig47

It was my dad's nickname when he played.

The first person to call me it was actually Joe Thornton.

No way!  Joe Thornton was the first person to call Frederik Andersen "Zilla" too, wasn't he?

Probably.  He's that kind of guy.  He nicknames people.

What's your favorite Joe Thornton memory?

He's just an awesome guy.  Obviously, he's really outgoing and has a big personality.

One day, it was actually Easter one year, my dad was busy with something and so I wound up at the golf course with Joe Thornton.

And on that Easter Sunday, Jumbo and I played 18 holes.  I was probably like 10.  It was the coolest thing and I'll never forget it.  He was so nice to me.

Where was this?

In San Jose, when my dad was playing for the Sharks at the end of his career.

Who is the toughest guy you've ever fought? - @soccer_micah

(Lemieux paused and pondered for a minute before answering with a smile.)

I honestly don't have a good answer for that.

Okay, do you have a favorite fight of yours? Or one that you'll watch back from time to time?

I've been in some pretty good ones.

I liked fighting in New Jersey when I was playing for the Rangers. It was such a good rivalry.

I fought Miles Wood there and that one turned out pretty good for me. It wasn't much of a fight.

It was just fun getting into the physicality of that rivalry. I really enjoyed it.

What's your favorite highlight from your career? - Martin Necas

(Necas' locker is two seats away from Lemieux's, and he wanted to chime in with a question.)

I scored in my first NHL playoff game, so that was pretty cool.

I had a Gordie Howe hat trick for the Rangers early in my career too. I was young, but that was great.

Favorite restaurant here in Raleigh? - @earthtohal

Angus Barn.

Who is the most supportive teammate? - @CecilyAlyce

Kuzy (Evgeny Kuznetsov) is a pretty positive guy.

He's always got a smile on his face and he's pretty loud, so you hear the positivity.

He's always got a lot of energy. Good energy. He's outgoing too, so he's easy to be around.