You know, in 20 years."
After watching last week's game between the Islanders and Penguins turn into a gong show, Lemieux decided to share some feedback. He released a statement ripping into the league and its leadership, calling the events "unacceptable and embarrassing" and hinting that he could leave the sport entirely if things didn't improve.
Many applauded his stance, while others were critical or even accused him of hypocrisy. But those critics may want to brace themselves, because Lemieux may have more to get off his chest in the days to come.
What else could a millionaire hockey legend possibly have to complain about? Plenty, as it turns out. Sources in Pittsburgh tell me that the Islanders game was just the latest in a long list of things that are severely ticking Mario off:
- Today's players don't seem to grasp the fundamentals, with many unable to execute even a basic "intentionally lose the puck in the defenceman's skates to distract him long enough to blow by him and score" move.
- Hasn't played a league game for over five years now, so not really sure why Esa Tikkanen is still following him around and yapping in his ear all day.
- Attempts to engage the current generation of stars in a productive discussion about player safety have proven frustrating, as guys like Marc Savard just spend the entire conversation staring quietly into the distance.
- Is generally against hockey violence in all its forms, but won't hesitate to strangle the next person who starts talking about Kaberle-to-the-Bruins rumours.
- While all the cheap shots and fighting during last week's rematch were hard to take, the Islanders really went over the line with that lengthy pre-game ceremony retiring David Volek's number.
- Sort of feels like an idiot for picking up Peter Forsberg in his fantasy league.
- While occasional encounters with diehard Penguin fans are nice, the endless gushing, autograph demands, and girlish squeals of admiration make it sort of tough to get anything done during meetings with Gary Bettman.
- All these gosh darn Stanley Cup rings make it really tough to raise hand to give Garth Snow the finger.
- The revelation that Zenon Konopka has a poster of him in his bedroom makes him question whether everything he accomplished in his career was really worth it.
- You have one little physical confrontation with referee Kerry Fraser early in your career, and you can never go out in public again without every Leaf fan you see trying to hug you.
- While he realizes that the NHL Guardian Project super heroes were meant to honour key aspects of a franchise's history, he's still not crazy about the Penguin's superpower being "mulletude".
- Whenever all the owners get together for a scrimmage, Ted Leonsis won't stop asking him if he wants some advice on improving his game.
- Ever since Sidney Crosby moved out, Saturday morning "chocolate-chip pancake and cartoons in pajamas" time just isn't the same.
- Those 1987 Canada Cup team reunions just get awkward when everyone has to pretend to know who Doug Crossman is.
- As a 45-year-old with bad hips and a history of back problems, must somehow come to grips with the fact that he could probably only score 120 or 130 points if he was still playing today.
- Despite all of his frequent and passionate requests, it turns out that if you actually sneak up behind Mike Lange after a goal and scratch his back with a hacksaw he'll scream like a child and call the police.
- Hey, you try writing a thoughtful statement about the current state of the game with Matt Cooke elbowing you in the head the entire time.