He’s Back…Claude Lemieux

After tearing up the minor leagues for 23 games, Claude Lemieux got that magical phone call on Monday morning informing the pesky forward that he is indeed going to get another shot playing NHL hockey.

Proving all the doubters wrong, Lemieux who is 43 years-old used a strong work ethic and lots of determination in proving to the San Jose Sharks who signed him in December that even though he hasn’t played professional in about four years that he still can play and be an asset.

“The more I was told this was impossible, the more I wanted it,” said Lemieux after completing his first practice with the Sharks.

“I still feel that way.” “This is just the first step to life back in the NHL.” “I got into this with my eyes wide open, knowing that most folks out there would think that I’m out of my mind to attempt to do something like this.”

Lemieux who was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens way back in 1983 was known as a pesky player who played for the Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, Colorado Avalanche, Phoenix Coyotes and the Dallas Stars before retiring in 2003. Along the way he won four Stanley Cups and one Conn Smythe Trophy.

After going public about his desires to once again play in the NHL, the San Jose Sharks showed some mild interest and signed him as a free agent with no promises.

Since that time, he silenced his many critics by scoring three goals and 11 points and a +2 rating with the Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League. 

 Among those who are surprised at the determination of Lemieux at once again being in the NHL is Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau who was a one- time teammate over 20 years ago with the Canadiens.

“You see Chris Chelios who is 46 now, but when you consider the fact that Claude stopped playing for three or four years, it shows the character he has,” Carbonneau said.

“I’m happy for him.” “I didn’t think at first that it would be possible but now we see that nothing is impossible.” 

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