Former Ref Van Massenhoven Cool Memory about Lemieux

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Former Ref Van Massenhoven Cool Memory about Lemieux

Postby Penspal on Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:43 pm

From story on former Ref.

It was Le Magnifique’s second game back after his three-year retirement in the late ’90s. In front of the Penguins faithful at Mellon Arena, Lemieux appeared to score, only to see the goal negated by a Van Massenhoven mishap. “I blew the whistle too quickly,” he says. “I thought the goalie had it covered, [but] he didn’t. The puck squirted free, [and Pittsburgh] put it in the net.

“Mario, the gentleman he was — [as] fans are yelling and throwing stuff on the ice — he comes over and asks me what happened. I said, ‘I screwed up. I blew the whistle too quick.’ He said, ‘Well, I’ll stand here beside you until they stop throwing stuff.’ And they did. I couldn’t believe it.”
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Re: Former Ref Van Massenhoven Cool Memory about Lemieux

Postby FLPensFan on Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:47 pm

Cool story. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Former Ref Van Massenhoven Cool Memory about Lemieux

Postby Weegie on Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:35 pm

Neat story, he's human and he admitted it!
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Re: Former Ref Van Massenhoven Cool Memory about Lemieux

Postby Sigwolf on Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:11 pm

I still shake my head in amazement that I was able to experience Lemieux's whole career. He entered the NHL soon after I entered high school, and I still have such vivid memories of the highs and lows of his time in the league. The early 90's cup wins were an incredible experience for a college student at the time. The devastating news of hodgkin's disease was soon eclipsed by his remarkable return fresh from his last treatment. A few short years later his retirement hit hard. I was sure I would never see him play again, and that's what made his return from retirement in December of 2000 my favorite memory of his entire career. His early accomplishments came when I was young and invincible, and thus were not appreciated for how rare they were. His return after nearly 3.5 years out of the league came as I was 30, and more able to appreciate the physical toll of being competitive in an aging body. When he came back in 2000 it was just magic, made even more so in being so unexpected. Injuries and physical limitations kept that in check, somewhat, and it was frustrating to see the team unable to put it all together, but it was still several years of being able to watch him play in person that seemed so impossible after '97.
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