|6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
215 lb (98 kg)
|San Jose Sharks|
New Jersey Devils
|Nationality||Canadian & American|
|Born||July 16, 1965,|
Buckingham, QC, CAN
|NHL Draft||26th overall, 1983|
|Pro Career||1983 – 2003|
2008 – present
Claude Percy Lemieux (born July 16, 1965 in Buckingham, Quebec) is a retired Canadian-American professional player who last played for the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is one of only eight players in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup with three different teams and his 80 career playoff goals are the ninth most in NHL history. Lemieux is also a former president of the ECHL's Phoenix Roadrunners.
Playing career[edit | edit source]
In September 1990, Montreal traded Lemieux to the New Jersey Devils for Sylvain Turgeon. Lemieux won his second Stanley Cup in 1995 as New Jersey defeated the Detroit Red Wings. Completing the post-season with 13 goals, he also won the Conn Smythe Trophy that year as the playoff MVP.
Shortly before the beginning of the 1995–96 season, Lemieux was traded to the Colorado Avalanche in a three-team deal that also involved Wendel Clark and Steve Thomas. When the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup in 1996, Lemieux became only the fifth player in NHL history to win back-to-back Stanley Cups with different teams.
In November 1999, Lemieux was traded back to New Jersey in a deal that sent Brian Rolston to Colorado. He won his fourth and final Stanley Cup with the Devils in 2000. In that off-season, Lemieux signed as a free agent with the Phoenix Coyotes.
In January 2003, the Coyotes traded him to the Dallas Stars for Scott Pellerin and a conditional draft pick. Lemieux ended his NHL playing career with Dallas at the conclusion of the 2002–03 season. He played briefly the following season for EV Zug of the Swiss Nationalliga A.
Throughout his career, Lemieux was noted for playing his best games during the postseason. On three occasions, he scored more goals during the playoffs than he did during the regular season (1985–86 with Montreal, 1994–95 with New Jersey, and 1996-97 with Colorado). Lemieux retired with 80 career playoff goals, ninth all-time in the NHL.
On November 24, 2008, Lemieux, at age 43, signed a tryout contract with the San Jose Sharks in hopes of returning to the NHL after a five-year absence. Lemieux is a longtime friend of Sharks general manager Doug Wilson, who has taken a chance on veteran players before. Lemieux played a two-game stint with the China Sharks (vs Anyang Halla), San Jose's affiliate in Shanghai, while gauging his ability to make a full comeback.
Lemieux also had a reputation as one of the league's dirtiest players; in fact, an ESPN special entitled "The Top 10 Most Hated NHL Players of All Time" ranked Claude first. While playing for Montreal, during a playoff game against the Calgary Flames, Claude Lemieux bit Calgary's Jim Peplinski on the finger during a scuffle, prompting the Calgary winger to say, "I didn't know they allowed cannibalism in the NHL." Lemieux's title of being a dirty player was solidified in a 1996 incident with the Avalanche when he violently checked Kris Draper of the Detroit Red Wings into the boards from behind during a playoff series, causing Draper to suffer a concussion, broken jaw, broken nose and broken cheekbone, all of which all led to Draper having reconstructive surgery on his face having his jaw wired shut for several weeks. This incident is generally believed to have sparked an often-bitter rivalry between the two teams that continues to this day. Unhappy with his actions, the NHL suspended him two games, despite outcry from some fans who felt that Lemieux deserved a harsher penalty. Red Wings player Dino Ciccarelli famously quipped after the series "I can't believe I shook his freakin' hand".
Tensions between the two teams would continue to rise, reaching a breaking point the next season. During a fight in a Red Wings – Avalanche brawl, Wings enforcer Darren McCarty dropped Lemieux with a right hook to the face. Lemieux attempted to shield himself by "turtling" (which is considered cowardly) but was repeatedly punched before the officials could remove McCarty from him. Several fights erupted around the two as both teams, including the goalies, fought.
Retirement[edit | edit source]
In 2005, Lemieux became president of the current incarnation of the Phoenix Roadrunners.
2008 Comeback[edit | edit source]
In September 2008, on television, Lemieux expressed an interest in making a comeback to the NHL. He began the season with the China Sharks of the Asia League Ice Hockey before signing a contract with the Worcester Sharks on November 25. After scoring 2 goals and 6 points in 14 games with Worcester, Lemieux signed a two-way contract with the San Jose Sharks on December 29, 2008. The following day, he cleared waivers and continued to play for Worcester. On January 19, 2009, the San Jose Sharks recalled Lemieux to the NHL and, on February 19, he recorded the first NHL point of his comeback, assisting on Milan Michálek's second-period goal against the Los Angeles Kings.
He retired following the 2008-09 season.
Awards and achievements[edit | edit source]
- Stanley Cup Champion (1986, 1995, 1996, 2000)
- Conn Smythe Trophy winner (1995)
- QMJHL Playoff MVP (1985)
- QMJHL First All-Star Team (1985)
- QMJHL Second All-Star Team (1984)
- Inducted into Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Hall of Fame (2005)
- 9th all-time in Stanley Cup playoff goals with 80
Career statistics[edit | edit source]
|1982–83||Trois Rivieres Draveurs||QMJHL||62||28||38||66||187||4||1||0||1||30|
|1983–84||Nova Scotia Voyageurs||AHL||—||—||—||—||—||2||1||0||1||6|
|1984–85||Verdun Junior Canadiens||QMJHL||52||58||66||124||152||14||23||17||40||38|
|1990–91||New Jersey Devils||NHL||78||30||17||47||105||7||4||0||4||34|
|1991–92||New Jersey Devils||NHL||74||41||27||68||109||7||4||3||7||26|
|1992–93||New Jersey Devils||NHL||77||30||51||81||155||5||2||0||2||19|
|1993–94||New Jersey Devils||NHL||79||18||26||44||86||20||7||11||18||44|
|1994–95||New Jersey Devils||NHL||45||6||13||19||86||20||13||3||16||20|
|1999–00||New Jersey Devils||NHL||70||17||21||38||86||23||4||6||10||28|
|2008–09||San Jose Sharks||NHL||18||0||1||1||21||1||0||0||0||0|
Transactions[edit | edit source]
- June 8, 1983 - Montreal Canadiens' 2nd round draft choice (26th overall) in the the 1983 NHL Entry Draft.
- September 4, 1990 - Traded by the Montreal Canadiens to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Sylvain Turgeon.
- October 3, 1995 - Traded by the New Jersey Devils to the New York Islanders in exchange for Steve Thomas.
- October 3, 1995 - Traded by the New York Islanders to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Wendel Clark.
- November 3, 1999 - Traded by the Colorado Avalanche, along with Colorado's 1st round draft choice (David Hale) and 2nd round draft choice (Matt DeMarchi) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Brian Rolston and New Jersey's 2nd round draft choice (Martin Samuelsson) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.
- December 5, 2000 - Signed as a free agent with the Phoenix Coyotes.
- January 16, 2003 - Traded by the Phoenix Coyotes to the Dallas Stars in exchange for Scott Pellerin and Dallas' 4th round draft choice (Kevin Porter) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
- December 29, 2008 - Signed as a free agent with the San Jose Sharks.
[edit | edit source]
- Claude Lemieux's career stats at The Internet Hockey Database
- Claude Lemieux at TSN.ca
- Lemieux Phoenix Roadrunners bio
|Winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy
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