San Jose Is 'LePumped' About Lemieux

Unretired hockey star makes solid start to comeback at 43
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2009 2:46 PM CST
San Jose Sharks' Claude Lemieux (32) takes to the ice on a shift change, during the first period against the Vancouver Canucks in an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009, in San Jose.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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(Newser) – Four-time Stanley Cup winner Claude Lemieux took to the ice for the San Jose Sharks yesterday after nearly 6 years in retirement, and Mark Purdy of the Mercury News is cautiously optimistic. The 43-year-old, who's been a pro for longer than several of his new teammates have been alive, "was solid. That's one of the finest compliments you can pay a professional athlete," Purdy writes.

"I've been dreaming about this since I retired," said Lemieux, who drew an ovation when he took to the ice 2:04 into the game. "The fans gave me that salute on the first shift. That meant a lot to me." Coach Todd McLellan seems to be easing his newest player back into the game cautiously: Lemieux played just seven minutes in the 2-1 overtime victory.