Skip to main content
This Date in NHL History

Aug. 29: Lemieux decides to sit out 1994-95 season

Plus: Joliat born in Ottawa; Bentley, Durnan headline 1964 Hockey Hall of Fame class

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Aug. 29

1994: Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins announces that he will sit out the 1994-95 NHL season because of back problems and fatigue, an aftereffect from his radiation treatment for cancer. However, doctors tell him he has no recurrence of the Hodgkin lymphoma he was diagnosed with in 1993 or the anemia he developed during the 1993-94 season.

The star center says he will return only if he can "play like Mario Lemieux can play." The year off apparently helps him do just that; he returns during the 1995-96 season and leads the NHL in scoring, winning the Art Ross Trophy with 69 goals and 161 points and the Hart Trophy as the League's most valuable player. Lemieux doesn't retire until Jan. 24, 2006.

Video: Mario Lemieux scored 100 points 10 different times

 

MORE MOMENTS

1901: Aurel Joliat, one of the NHL's first stars, is born in Ottawa. Joliat joins the Montreal Canadiens from Saskatoon of the WCHL in September 1922; one year later, he teams with Howie Morenz to form one of the most potent scoring duos during the early years of the NHL. The 5-foot-6, 136-pound left wing plays on three Stanley Cup-winning teams with Montreal and finishes his career in 1938 with 270 goals, then the most by any Canadien. He is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1947.

 

1964: The Hall of Fame inducts its newest class, which includes Doug Bentley, Bill Durnan, Babe Siebert and "Black Jack" Stewart. Also inducted is referee Bill Chadwick; he becomes the first U.S.-born official to earn induction after working more than 900 regular-season games and a record 42 games in the Stanley Cup Final during his 16 seasons as an NHL referee.

View More