Per site rules, don't forget to include the source of the article and do not quote the entire article.
Post-gazette.com should have lots of info, as should Google newspapers: http://news.google.com/newspapers.
20 questions about Mario's comeback
1. When will he start?
When he feels like it. Sounds glib, but it's the truth.
Lemieux is going to keep working out on his own, probably for the next few days, then maybe -- maybe, now -- join the team for practice later in the week. It depends on how strong his legs feel and whether his chronically ailing back holds up through all the stress he's putting it through. If he doesn't join the club within the next five days, it's likely he would wait until Dec. 22 to start practicing because the Penguins will be away on a three-game road trip Dec. 16-21, and he wouldn't be able to get much quality time with the team while it's traveling.
As for when he will play, the popular target date is Dec. 27 because it's the start of a four-game homestand. But now that the game is already sold out ... hey, what's the rush, right?
2. Has anyone else owned a professional hockey team while playing for it?
Not in the modern era, but one guy in 1915 has Lemieux beat by a mile for versatility on a resume. Frank Patrick was the president of the old Pacific Coast Hockey Association, and the owner, general manager, coach and star defenseman for the Vancouver Millionaires.
Cool fact: His team won the Stanley Cup that year.
Cooler still: Patrick was the brother of Lester Patrick, grandfather of Craig Patrick.
3. Can he catch Zigmund Palffy in the NHL's scoring race?
It's natural to hesitate before suggesting Lemieux is incapable of any feat. But spotting a guy 50 points with more than half the season left? That's tough. Palffy, enjoying a breakout year with the Los Angeles Kings, has 42 points and figures to pile up no fewer than a dozen more by the end of this month.
That said, Penguins historians will recall that Lemieux trailed Pat LaFontaine by 12 points when he returned from cancer treatments in early March 1993. He finished with 160 points and the scoring title, blowing away LaFontaine by 12 points. In the 20 games after his return, he had 30 goals and 26 assists.
It hardly seemed fair.
4. Will he still run the team?
Yes. Although he plans to perform all the duties that go along with being a player -- and those can be pretty exhausting -- he has told team officials he will remain involved in business decisions and has asked to be kept abreast of developments. The NHL has allowed him to retain all of his titles -- owner, chief executive officer and governor -- although he might abstain in league votes involving thorny issues between management and the players' union.
As for the internal hierarchy, Patrick shrugged that off: "The way our organization works, we all work together. We don't have egos. We don't have titles."
5. Will this help the Penguins get a new arena?
It certainly won't hurt. Remember how during the Plan B controversy some critics derided the Pirates by asking why they need a new stadium if they can't fill the one they have? Similar shots were sure to have been fired at the Penguins, had their attendance remained an average of 1,700 below capacity, as it is now. But with sellout crowds expected on a regular, and perhaps religious, basis, with luxury boxes overflowing with clients for the remainder of this season, nothing could better underscore the need for a new, modern facility.
and even a mention about Mario and Team USA
13. Will he play in the Olympics?
Only Lemieux can answer that, of course, but his history has been to shun international competition. He had a lousy experience as a teen-ager at the 1984 World Junior Championships, then played at the 1985 World Championships and blossomed into a star at the memorable 1987 Canada Cup. That was it for him in a national uniform.
And he isn't likely to don one again at Salt Lake City in 2002, even though Gretzky, the team's general manager, already is tossing hints that he will ask him.
A more intriguing issue is this: What if Lemieux decided to skate for the United States?
He is an American citizen, having lived in Pittsburgh for the better part of two decades. To top that, Patrick is the general manager and Herb Brooks the coach. Patrick said he would love to have him but added it's unlikely because of Olympic rules, which prohibits athletes who have represented one nation in a major international competition from changing sides.
and a 1999 article about Penguins prospects
Craig Hillier is a goaltender with NHL potentialAlas, he's also a 20-year-old rookie.
Hillier, the Pittsburgh Penguins' third-best prospect according to The Hockey News, started his first pro season by shutting out defending American Hockey League champion Philadelphia on the road. Of Syracuse's 16 wins or ties this season, he has earned 13 of them. Hillier, who is expected to play for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins next season, has performed well enough for coaches to praise him. He has proven to be coachable, correcting a major flaw in his playing style during the summer. Yet apparently, there's a significant roadblock. Hillier has pulled himself following the first period during three games this season. Syracuse assistant Glenn Patrick finally wondered aloud two weeks ago if he wasn't removing himself because of nervousness.
The official reasons Hiller left those games were back spasms at St. John's, a bad groin at Albany and the flu against Cincinnati.
After the Cincinnati game, Patrick, when pressed, admitted: "There's a big concern. He's got to mature out of it. If it's nerves causing the problem, we've got to get him out of that. I'm not saying tonight was, but he's gotten sick from nerves before. ... You can't make the NHL being sick." On Wednesday, Hillier said his self-removals were for legitimate reasons, and playing more would only have hurt the team. Yet in all three of those games, Hillier was sharp. He stopped nine of 10 shots at St. John's, nine of 10 at Albany, and all eight against Cincinnati. "No, it's not nerves," he said. "(Against Cincinnati) I had to come out because I wasn't feeling too well ... There's just times you have to know your limits. If you're not going to be able to play well, let somebody else (play)."
If this is a concern, his ability to listen isn't. Last season in junior hockey, Hillier sat back in his crease, relying on his reflexes to make saves. As the players get better, that won't work. So Hillier spent the summer working on coming out to cut down the angles (called "challenging the shooter").
Hillier has shown flashes of brilliance. However, his .884 save percentage is the worst among the 15 AHL goalies who have played at least 20 games. All things considered, Syracuse coaches say Hillier has played well. "We're happy with Craig," head coach Jack McIlhargey said. "For a first-year kid, he's done all right."
and several other prospects
Dave Brown, a scout with the New York Rangers, attended the Syracuse-Hershey game on Wednesday. It's the third time this season he saw the Crunch play. Brown took some time to comment on some of the Penguins' top minor league prospects.
On defensemen Pavel Skrbek and Michal Rozsival, the organization's top two prospects according to The Hockey News: "Right from the first time I saw them, I was pretty impressed with the way both of them played. I think maybe Rozsival is a little more aggressive and Skrbek's not far behind.
On enigmatic forward Robert Dome: "He has great potential. His first couple strides are a bit slow, but he definitely has some great tools at a young age (19).
On forward Boris Protsenko: "He's a pretty well-skilled player, definitely not scared to stick his nose in there. He's still a young guy. He needs to gain a bit of strength and I think he needs to improve his skating, too. As far as his offensive skills, he's got pretty good hands and he's got good vision."
On forward Martin Sonnenberg, who last week received his second brief call-up to Pittsburgh: "When I first saw him I thought he was going to have a chance to play (in the NHL). I didn't know if he'd be up there this soon. I wasn't surprised to see him up there because I thought he did look like a good prospect. ... He seems to be a hard worker. He didn't take any shifts off. That's what stood out the most."
On forward Valentin Morozov: "He's got unbelievable skills. He's going to have to learn how to play in traffic. ... A lot of promise there."
On forward Alexei Kolkunov: "He definitely has good skills, handles the puck well. His skating is OK, I think he can improve that a little bit. Most of all, he probably has to improve his intensity and he's going to have to be willing to be physical."
http://archives.timesleader.com/1999/19 ... _SYRA.html