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by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

Mario Lemieux may be retired from hockey, but he’s still racking up assists.

Lemieux, the Penguins’ Chairman of the Board, helped welcome new Penguins General Manager Ray Shero and his family with a phone call Wednesday.

However, a message from Mario Lemieux isn’t just any old message – especially if you’re a young hockey fan like Shero’s two sons: Christopher (10) and Kyle (8).

“When I accepted the position with [Penguins President and CEO] Ken Sawyer [Wednesday], my two boys were coming off the bus from their last day of school in Nashville didn’t really know what was going on,” Shero said. “I was fortunate to have a message from Mario Lemieux on my phone welcoming me to Pittsburgh. So, our two boys really found out we were coming to Pittsburgh when we played the message back for them.

“If you could see the look in their eyes and the joy in their eyes that Mario Lemieux actually left their dad a message, it was just tremendous and really makes me feel that this is the right place for us and we’re going to be happy here as a family.”

Shero was joined by his wife, Karen, at a press conference at Mellon Arena on Thursday. He spoke glowingly of the opportunity to help lead the Penguins back to NHL dominance.

“This is a very, very exciting day for me and my family. After talking to Ken, I really feel this is the best place for me and my family,” Shero said. “I also want to thank Mario Lemieux for the opportunity here and the confidence and commitment he’s made with me.”

Shero, who served as assistant general manager in Ottawa and Nashville, is no stranger to building powers. He hopes to take the knowledge he learned and apply it to improving the Penguins.

“I have been very, very fortunate to work with some great people in the past,” he said. “I really appreciate the effort and support they’ve given me.”

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