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Super comeback: Lemieux confirms return to ice

Lemieux's skate a foretaste of comeback

April 26, 1997: A swan's song

Mario was super despite the obstacles

Jan. 20, 1989: Lemieux nets 50th in 44th game

Oct. 11, 1984: Lemieux's first NHL game

Mario Lemieux's career stats

Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Mario Lemieux: Career chronology

A chronology of the career of Mario Lemieux:

  • June 1984 -- Selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins with the No. 1 pick of the NHL draft.

  • Oct. 11, 1984 -- Made NHL debut at Boston. Scored a goal on his first shot on his first NHL shift, against Bruins goalie Pete Peeters.

  • 1984-85 -- Won Calder Trophy after becoming only the third rookie in NHL history to score 100 or more points (43 goals-57 assists).

  • 1985-86 -- Awarded Lester B. Pearson Award by the NHL Players' Association to the league's best player. Finished second to Wayne Gretzky in scoring race with 141 points (48-93) and Hart Trophy voting.

  • 1986-87 -- Led Penguins in goals (54) and assists (53) despite playing in only 63 games due to sprained right knee and bronchitis.

  • 1987-88 -- Won Hart Trophy as league MVP, Art Ross Trophy as scoring leader with 168 points (70-98), and Pearson Award again.

  • 1988-89 -- Won second straight scoring title with 199 points (85-114). Set single-season record with 13 short-handed goals. Became only second player (Wayne Gretzky) to score 70 goals in two seasons.

  • 1989-90 -- Finished fourth in league in scoring with 123 points (45-78) despite missing 21 games due to herniated back.

  • July 11, 1990 -- Had surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back.

  • 1990-91 -- Missed first 50 games recovering from a rare bone disease resulting from a surgery-related infection. Won Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, scoring 44 points (16-28), leading Pittsburgh to first Stanley Cup championship.

  • 1991-92 -- Won third scoring title with 131 points (44-87). Broke his left hand when slashed by the Rangers' Adam Graves in Game 2 of Patrick Division finals, but returned after missing only five games. Won Conn Smythe Trophy again, scoring 34 points (16-18) as Pittsburgh won second straight Stanley Cup.

  • January 1993 -- Diagnosed with a Nodular Lymphocytic form of Hodgkin's disease. Underwent treatment in form of radiation between Feb. 1st and March 2nd.

  • 1992-93 -- Played in only 60 games after recovering from Hodgkins' disease. Won fourth scoring title with 160 points (69-91). Won Hart Trophy for second time. Awarded Pearson Award again. Awarded Masterton Trophy as player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

  • July 28, 1993 -- Had second back surgery in three years to repair herniated muscle in back.

  • 1993-94 -- Missed first 10 games recovering from surgery and a total of 58 games with back problems.

  • Aug. 29, 1994 -- Announced he was taking a medical leave of absence due to fatigue, an aftereffect of his 1993 radiation treatments, and would sit out 1994-95 season.

  • June 20, 1995 -- Announced he would return for the 1995-96 season.

  • Oct. 26, 1995 -- Scored 500th career goal at N.Y. Islanders in his 605th game, becoming the second-fastest player (Gretzky - 575th) to attain the plateau.

  • 1995-96 -- Won third Hart Trophy as MVP, becoming only seventh player to achieve the feat at least three times. Became fourth player to win fifth scoring title with 161 points (69-92). Led NHL in power-play goals (31), tied for third-highest single-season total in league history.

  • Feb. 4, 1997 -- Scored 600th career goal vs. Vancouver in his 719th game, becoming the second-fastest player (Gretzky - 718th) to attain the plateau.

  • 1996-97 -- Won sixth scoring title with 122 points (50-72). Recorded 10th career 100-point season, second only to Wayne Gretzky's record of 15.

  • April 6, 1997 -- Announced he will retire after the playoffs.

  • April 26, 1997 -- Had a goal and an assist in his final NHL game as Pittsburgh lost 6-3 to Philadelphia and was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in five games.

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