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End of an Era: Claude Lemieux retires


After 1,215 career NHL games with Montreal, New Jersey, Colorado, Phoenix, Dallas and San Jose, winger Claude Lemieux formally announced his retirement from hockey on Wednesday.

Lemieux won four Stanley Cups and is one of only eight players to win a championship with three different teams (Montreal, 1986; New Jersey, 1995 and 2000; Colorado, 1996).

“I want to thank my former teammates from my entire career for all of their support,” said Lemieux in a statement released by the Sharks. “I feel very fortunate that I was able to have a career like I had.  There have been many great NHL players who did not get the opportunities to win that I had.  I played for a long time but it went by so very fast.”

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And with Claude Lemieux calling it quits an era comes to a close.  He was the last remaining active member of the 1983 draft class.  He was drafted with some gems:  Pierre Turgeon, Pat Lafontaine, Steve Yzerman, Russ Courtnall, Cam Neely, Kevin Stevens, Dominik Hasek to name a few.

I had a chance to see him play the Wings back in February and couldn’t really recall anything outstanding (5:08 total ice time, -1) from that game relating to Lemieux aside from the crowd booing everytime he touched the puck.  But when the Avalanche play Detroit that really could be intended for any member of that squad.  (although becuase of the Lemieux/Draper incident, Wings fans will always have a special hate in their heart for Claude).

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