Hockey Hall of Famer and Penguins chairman Mario Lemieux
was at CONSOL Energy Center Saturday morning. But he wasn't sitting in usual seat in the owner's box. Instead, Lemieux was behind the bench.
Lemieux is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins
Elite Tier 16 Team, a local traveling squad comprised of top amateur players, including Lemieux's son, Austin, from Pittsburgh born in 1996.
When it comes to hockey, it's been in my blood since I was 3 or 4 years old. I love coaching the kids, especially at that level," Lemieux said. "I've been doing it for four or five years. It's a lot of fun for me trying to teach these kids and see them develop from the beginning of the season to the end. It's very satisfying at the end of the day."
The Penguins Elite are competing in the Tier 1 '96 Super Series amateur hockey tournament, which is taking place at various rinks around Pittsburgh over the weekend, and was hosted by CONSOL Energy Center Saturday.
"This arena is a special place. Everybody loves it. To be able to stand behind the bench and be a part of a great tournament for the '96 Elite is fun," Lemieux said. "The kids, having a chance to play in the building where the Penguins play, it's a special feeling for them."
Lemieux's interest in coaching was aroused when Austin began playing the sport. To play such a big role in his son's development as a player is an opportunity Lemieux truly cherishes.
"My son, he is the reason I got involved," Lemieux said. "It's been a joy to be around him and teach him the stuff that I know, and to the other kids as well. When he started playing I wanted to be involved in his hockey career. It's a lot of fun for both of us.
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