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Report: Mario Lemieux disappointed and embarrassed by Penguins’ dirty play

Apr 17, 2012, 8:50 AM EDT

Mario Lemieux Getty Images

Today is the day that sees Arron Asham and James Neal meet with the league to find out if/how long they’ll be suspended for their dirty plays in Game 3 against Philadelphia. One person we haven’t heard from in the wake of all the mayhem is Penguins owner Mario Lemieux.

Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review hears from sources close to Lemieux that he is not at all happy about what went down on Sunday afternoon.

Penguins majority co-owner Mario Lemieux was disappointed with his club`s overall lack of discipline and embarrassed with the dirty plays by Asham and Neal in Game 3, sources close to Lemieux said.

Lemieux, who rarely grants interviews, declined comment.

Rossi also reports the Penguins will support any and all discipline handed out by the league to Asham and Neal, something you rarely hear from teams whose players have done wrong.

If you’ll recall, Lemieux took the NHL to task for their lack of action taken after the Islanders and Penguins brouhaha last season that saw Lemieux send a letter to Commissioner Gary Bettman to either get serious about it or else he’d have to consider getting out of the game.

With yet another high-profile ugly incident happening under Lemieux’s watch, it would only make sense that he’d be disgusted by it. Being down 3-0 to the Flyers probably doesn’t help much either.

  1. philly4lyfe - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    He’s embarrassed by his teams actions, just not embarrassed enough to actually come out and say it for himself?

    • miketoasty - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:04 AM

      I guess you missed the part where it says he doesn’t do interviews.

      • dropthepuckeh - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:44 AM

        He doesn’t give interviews unless he wants to complain and whine about things against his team. He can’t have it both ways. Familiar theme on his team….

      • Bully Goat - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:10 AM

        guess you missed the part where he posted a missive to the league threatening to leave last season after the islanders behaved in similar fashion to his Pens on Sunday, right. he’s a hypocrite with a scathing rebuke for the league until it’s his own team “embarrassing” the sport as he put it in 2011.

      • cweez2 - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:11 AM

        Not giving interviews is one thing, but while I agree – it sounds like Mario is willing to talk without being called out on it. If you want a public voice, you need to take the questions back. Don’t let your coach or “representatives” do the dirty work – it’s cowardly.

  2. emoser - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    Yawn. I’m bored with the penguins… bring on a real team.

    • miketoasty - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      Bring on the Columbus Blue Jackets!

  3. scoops1 - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    Strip Sid of that c he wears on jersey. He in an embarrassment to the NHL , the organization and anyone who wore the c with pride on their jersey

    • florida727 - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:54 AM

      I wouldn’t go so far as to say he’s an “embarrassment” to the NHL, but if you notice, the “C” always now seems to go to the guy who has the highest profile or is the most popular on the team with fans. It’s no longer a leadership honor, it’s a popularity contest. Because of that, Sid will wear that “C” on his sweater until the day he retires.

      If I remember right, Bobby Hull never was a captain of the Blackhawks despite being hugely popular with fans in Chicago; he used to go out on a Saturday afternoon and cut his grass with his shirt off; you wouldn’t believe the forearms on that guy; Popeye was envious… AFTER the spinach.

      • gohawksgo2012 - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:07 AM

        maybe Bobby Hull should have or could have been the captain of the Black Hawks, but you can only have one captain.

        Obviously, many captains in NHL are great leaders….look at Jonathan Toews…. he is the ultimate leader, and at such a young age.

        Also, Sid is an EMBARRASSMENT….what a whiny baby….and he is so low, that he even has to push the glove of philly player away with his stick, how sickeningly babyish!

  4. ottograham - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    I have never been more disgusted with any of the teams in Pittsburgh. And thats including the last 20 years of Buccos baseball. What I saw on Sunday was minor league status. Thats how we have been playing since there was 2 weeks left in the regular season. Now we show we have no tact or respect for the game for that matter. We acted like children and now will most likely get swept by one of the teams we draft and manage to beat mulitple times a year. This will certainly be an interesting off season for us. Very dissapointed in this team and their ability to make clowns out of themselves.

    Philly is a superior team. They have beat us in every facet of the game. Talk about a total team collapse.

    • hockeyflow33 - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:41 AM

      Watch a Canucks game and youll change your mind

      • ottograham - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:46 AM

        Equally dissapointing I bet. I literally felt uncomfortable watching my own team play a game.

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:03 AM

      I couldn’t agree more – I don’t know what’s more annoying: the fact that we are being swept by our hated rival or that our star players (Malkin and Staal aside) are acting like petulant children about it.

      I feel like this team needs some veteran leadership besides just Brooks Orpik (only so much one guy can do). Where are the Guerin’s, Scuderi’s, and Gonchar’s that we had in the last cup run on this team? Letang talks about how Game 3 will be the best game we’ve seen out of this team, then promptly gets himself ejected in the first period.

      I am a Crosby apologist, always have been – but I’m finding it harder and harder to defend his actions. It is my sincerest hope that this is the final burst growing pains after what has probably been the most frustrating 18 months of his career (record setting pace, to missing over a year, to a first round collapse) but he needs to do some soul-searching and decide whether he wants to be a true leader or another Prima Donna (sp?) star.

      Let’s go Bucs.

      • phillyhatesyou - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:58 PM

        much respect to you and otto for not even trying to defend the crap that went down on sunday. to me people like pens5829 and fbothharbaughs have zero credibility when it comes to anything hockey for trying to justify anything that happened or somehow try to turn it around on the flyers (sorry guys the schenn hit was clean). its sad that the penguins did all that crap because games 1 and 2 were absolutely awesome with the clean physical play of both teams (could have done without a few embellishment calls by the pens but whatever). hope the NHL does the right thing with the suspensions but who knows anymore with shanahan. good to know there are at least a few pens fans out there that are level headed and reasonable

  5. feva4theflava - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    As a pens fan I’m very disappointed with the pen’s play and lack of discipline. Im sure mario is pissed and I bet bylsma hasn’t heard the last of it. I’m just glad I’m not at State College anymore…my Philly buddies would tearing into me!

    • dangle13x - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:50 AM

      I hear they tear into lots of boys at “State College”.

    • dangle13x - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:55 AM

      I hear the boys that thumbs down this went to state college and are embarrassed to go to butt-rape U.

      • crosberries - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:21 PM

        Agreed. Let’s cover it up and act like it never happened though cause football rules the USA you can get away with anything.

  6. bigbadbruins1968 - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    Really, Mario? That’s the way the Penguins played during your heyday. Who can forget Ulf Samuelson wrecking Cam Neely’s career with a knee-to-knee-hit?

    • bbgustaf - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:18 AM

      Mario was one of the biggest cry babies of his Time. “You can’t hit me, I am Mario Le’pew”
      After ripping the league last year this was his only recourse. Such a double standard.
      I despised him more than any player ever because of his smug attituded and demeanor! Totally class-less!

      • nofunleague - Apr 17, 2012 at 5:20 PM

        I only wish I could give this post more than one thumbs up..Mario is a phony, a whiner, and a baby. I guess that what get’s you the C in Pissburgh.

      • gohawksgo2012 - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:09 AM

        that’s probably where Sid learned it… is he still living with Mario?

  7. mojosmagic - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    A real man absorbs a clean hard hit to
    make a play. A selfish baby retaliates with a cheap shot. The Pens coaches are to blame for not reigning in his players and should be fired.

    • paperlions - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      You just described 70% of the league (retaliating with cheap shots), not just the Pens.

  8. fbothharbaughs - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    Wow, Flyers fans. Guess everyone on your roster’s up for the Lady Byng Trophy.

    Yeah, the Pens embarrassed themselves w/their cheap shots the other day (not to mention their overall play in this series), but you idiots have actually convinced yourselves that your team’s above the shenanigans we’ve all come to expect…

    • ml3939 - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:49 AM

      Exactly how many Flyers have a hearing with Shanahan or have faced a mandatory suspension in this series? Under the circumstances you would think the Flyers would be subject to disciplinary hearings as well but they are not. They have been disciplined. So at the present time I guess they are above the shenanigans.

      But more importantly, what the hell are you responding to? Who has posted anything above your commentary condemning the Pens yet praising your implied “choir boy” play by the Flyers?

      • dangle13x - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:51 AM

        hahaha look at these white trash pens fans cry. its priceless.

      • fbothharbaughs - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:43 AM

        Apparently, ml3939, you cannot read or you wouldn’t have felt the need to ask “Who has posted anything… condemning the Pens…?”

      • cleverbob - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:57 AM

        Talk about selective reading comprehension. By that same standard, fbothharbaughs already admitted above that “your team’s above the shenanigans”.

        So everyone is in agreement then – the Flyers have kept their composure despite the Penguins’ antics.

      • ml3939 - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:21 PM

        In any of the comments preceding yours prior to your original post, who condemned the Pens play while praising the Flyers play? You made it a comparative piece, not me.

        Thanks for the backing cleverbob. Unfortunately with bobhpine posting around here you will have a tough time restoring the credibility of anyone named bob.

    • pens5829 - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:32 AM

      Couldn’t agree more. Very out of character for the Pens. Only time this seems to happen year-in-and-year out is against the Cryers.

      A lot of Academy Awards nominees on Sunday. Schenn? Couturier? Giroux? All very good candidates. Schenn got what he deserved for leaving his feet on his check just prior to Asham’s hit.

      • ezekiahjones - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:38 AM

        So then James Neal deserves to get cross checked in the face and punched in the head after the play for leaving his feet to hit Couturier?

      • lasallehockey81 - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:49 AM

        Literally all 3 hits on the players you mentioned are most likely suspension worthy and are being looked at by the league. Compare that to ZERO Flyers having a hearing and you’re obviously exposed as a bitter troll. At least you have something to hold onto, I guess.

      • dangle13x - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:59 AM

        ya ezsekiahjones, thats exactly what he deserved. Go play street hockey you clueless ape.

      • ezekiahjones - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:02 AM

        dangle what makes me a clueless ape?

    • ezekiahjones - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      How many incidents were instigated by the Flyers?

  9. beaver15 - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    Didn’t stop Mario from playing during playoff days when he played when it was like this.

    • cweez2 - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:51 AM


  10. philly4lyfe - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    All I was saying is that given Mario’s status as majority owner And his reputation as a player and how great he was and how he played the game, and given the fact his players were using the same dirty tactics he was complaining about to the league a year ago, the message might get through to his players a lot more clearly if it came from him directly as opposed to his friends, lawyers, associates or whoever said it. And the last time I checked, you don’t have to give an interview to release a statement on a particular issue. Believe it or not, teams do it all the time (see: rangers statement on haglin).

    • Kristenaux - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:34 AM

      Oh c’mon! Mario is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. Every time he is “quoted” as saying something, the Mario haters/critics line up to spew their opinion on him. Mario knows this and it’s pretty much why he’s tried to stay out of the limelight in situations like these. Sort of like the other 98% of team owners do all the time, y’know? But don’t let Mario act like that…nosirree! Then he’s a hypocritical, cowardly crybaby.

      • ezekiahjones - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:42 AM

        No he’s a hypocrite for writing a letter to the commissioner saying he would take himself away from the game if the NHL didn’t do a better job of protecting the players, then his team goes out and does the stuff he is campaigning against. That is what makes him a hypocrite

    • mmmpierogi - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      If Lemieux feels legitimately embarrassed about the team’s play and conduct, he can speak out about it, as he’s done that. As a Pens fan, I support what he’s done and I agree with him. Anyone who is a fan of the sport of hockey, whether they are a Pens fan or otherwise, should be disheartened by what happened Sunday.

      However, here’s a serious question for you: why should Mario Lemieux, of all people, care about justifying his status or reputation to you – who are you to judge him as a player or owner? If he honestly feels embarrassment concerning what’s occurred, why should he change his routine just to placate the media or fans from a rival city? I’m pretty sure his status and reputation, insofar as he is concerned, are strongly solidified in the eyes of those with whom he is concerned. It’s one thing to voice embarrassment about your team’s conduct, which he did – it’s another thing to turn that into a PR statement (which is precisely what he he would be doing if he gave an interview, given that he almost never does interviews, which anyone living in the Pittsburgh metro area or who follows this team knows).

      • gohawksgo2012 - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:12 AM

        if he’s really so embarrassed by his team’s actions, why doesn’t he just get out of the league entirely, like he threatened last year….he’s just as cocky and arrogant as Crosby with his comments….the league will survive without Mario Lemieux!

  11. feva4theflava - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    Bigbadbruins, I agree what ulf did was dirty but u can’t let that define mario’s time with the pens. Every team at some point has a goon that makes dumb decisions (mcsorely high stick).

  12. 700levelvet - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    He should be more embarrassed by his defensemen and goalie, if they actually had the ability to get back into the zone, or stop a beach ball, they would not have had to resort to such bush league tactics….And one more thing is Malkin a healthy scratch for this series or what?….I don’t care about the hows the Pens embarrassed themselves, i only care about how the Flyers are EMBARRASSING the Pens………..

  13. michiganhockey11 - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Mario, the Flyers are in your guys’ heads rent free right now. Time to focus on next year.

  14. penzfan329 - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    @philly4lyfe. and what does mario need to say right now that would help anything? he isnt trying to get a point across judging from what the article said

    • Jonny 5 - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:43 PM

      Mario could suspend his own players actually. Ya know if he really felt that strongly about head hunting and such.

  15. uncledick - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    I he was really disappointed he would suspend the players himself.

    • pdmjr - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:01 PM

      He can’t suspend, the league has to do it, they have a CBA like the nfl

  16. uncledick - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    If he was really disappointed he would suspend the players himself.

    • ezekiahjones - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      Agreed, especially because if Neal steps on that ice he’s gonna be a moving target, they should sit him for his own safety.

  17. philly4lyfe - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Just making an observation and giving my opinion. Since he is there boss and it’s his team and they are representing him out there, if he was trying to get a point across to them about being disappointed by their actions, it might get through more clearly given the stance he has taken on it coming from him directly. Again, just my opinion.

    • jasong812 - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      Who says he didn’t go into the locker room and rip them apart? You don’t have to talk to your team in the media. I am sure Mario got his point across to his team the last couple of days and I think you are going to see a different Pens team Wed. Win or lose.

      • cowgut1 - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:55 AM

        Different Pens team? I didn’t think it was possible for them to play any dirtier!!! They certainly won’t come out and play with halos on. I predict more whining and cheap shots from Crosby and the rest of those thugs. Such a shame all that talent had to be wasted on a guy like him. The fans of other teams can’t appreciate it when it comes with that smug, arrogant, whining attitude

  18. philly4lyfe - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    Haha nothing beats letangs performance after bryz robbed him. Read comes over and nudges him and he goes flopping and flailing.

    • cowgut1 - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:37 AM

      I gave that dive a 3, it wasn’t convincing at all.

      • grandpoopah - Apr 17, 2012 at 6:32 PM

        Well, it convinced the referee who called a roughing minor on Read for the “hit.”

  19. philly4lyfe - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    Yeah your right. It portrays him in a much better light to go on his little tirade when the islanders did it against his team and he threatened to take his ball and go home, but the remain silent when his team acts the same exact way.

    • ivanhoseph77 - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:05 AM

      Uhhh – this is him NOT remaining silent….I believe the article is him expressing his disappointment and embarassment, publicly, about the Pens play….yeah.

      • bennywisest - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:30 AM

        ivanhoseph77, did you read the article. Lemiux did not make any public statement. Rob Rossi (the reporter) got the information that Lemiux was “dissapointed and embarrassed” at his time from a source (unnamed) close to Lemiux. So it is not a public expression of his dissapointment and embarrassment at his team. Rob Rossi (the reporter) made it public.

  20. mojosmagic - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    The flyers play hard but haven’t taken cheap head shots Pens fans. End of story!

  21. genvarsh - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    mario should be embarrassed for his team. and i respect mario very much. one of the greatest ever in the game. oh, and stop whining you pens fans. flyers fried penguins this time around. this is our time. the only problem you can’t take it like a real men. street fighting will do nothing for you. you lost the series. be gracious about it and show some respect to philly. after all we are in the same state!

    • jasong812 - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:17 AM

      Last I checked the Flyers still have to win another one. Here is to the MAF turnaround and Mario getting after his team. 4 in a row!

      • genvarsh - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:22 AM

        4 in a row? sure. it will happen next year. maybe….. and now it’s time for pens to hit bahamas!

  22. philly4lyfe - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    You are right. He doesn’t have to justify himself to me or the media and obviously he will remain in legend status no matter what he says or does. Im just saying it looks bad that he blasted the islanders and the league publicly last season for such tactics, but he remains silent when his team does it (other than a report from people close to him saying he feels this way). If you are satisfied with how he runs the team and this situation, then im happy for you. If he does decide to make a public statement about it in the future, then good for him. If not then oh well. That’s his decision to make and he would be well within his rights. Again, just giving my opinion, not trying to pretend like I know what’s best for him or his team or how he should handle his business.

  23. pacoj68 - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Philadelphians can lick my big balls

    • cowgut1 - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:31 AM

      Is your mom leading you around by them again, getting them all swollen? I told her to stop doing that last night when I was with her

      • ezekiahjones - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:37 AM

        ^ he banged yo mama

    • sizzle299 - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:36 AM

      okey dokey. Come to City Hall in your Cindy jersey and drop you pants.

      Although I’d be careful since broom sales in the city increased 500%- I’d enjoy seeing you get sodimized repeatedly. To the rest of the shameless trolls….don’t worry you’ll be seeing the brooms at Wednesday’s game regardless!!

      • pacoj68 - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:36 PM

        I know nothing about getting sodomized. thats you by some wayne simmonds like dude.

      • pacoj68 - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:36 PM

        I know nothing about getting sodomized. thats you by some wayne simmonds like dude.

    • genvarsh - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:06 PM

      boy, you are that desperate, ha? tomorrow you are going to witness a massacre. the final nail in the pens coffin will be delivered by bryzgalov. 6-0 flyers. read my lips stupid ass pens fans: YOU CAN’T BEAT US! IT’S OVER! YOU SIMPLY NOT GOOD ENOUGH! CASE CLOSED!

      • pacoj68 - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:35 PM

        still talking nonsense garbage?

  24. philly4lyfe - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    Maybe he did go into the locker room and talk to them personally. We don’t know. All we can go by is what the article says. And I don’t consider a report from tram sources close to him being him making a public statement on it. That’s usually just PR people releasing reports like that to help someone save face for the sake of public perception. not saying that’s what this is or that he isn’t genuinely disappointed in what happened. But it’s not the same thing to me. I’m done making comments on this article. Every1 is entitled to their own opinion and obviously a lot of us are going to see it from two very different perspectives based on who we cheer for and that’s the way it is. It’s time to go fetch the broom outta the closet anyway and get it ready for tomorrow.

  25. quizguy66 - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Older Mario is forgetting how chippy Younger Mario was I guess.


  26. buffalomafia - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Biaaaaaaaaatch! Go Flyers!

    • phillyb1983 - Apr 17, 2012 at 8:29 PM

      I saw Letang beat that face of that flyer

  27. howehattrick - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    These comments are hysterical. Guess most of the commentators are under 40. Find some archive videos of hockey in the 40’s through the late 70’s (before masks, visors, huge shoulder pads, elbow pads, etc.) and you’ll see what hockey was all about. It’s a rough sport, played by rough men – emphasis on MEN. Today’s hockey is ruled by the “kinder, gentler” crowd. Eliminate the masks, huge pads and visors. Let ’em fight. Bring back the enforcers to police the games and keep the players honest. C’mon guys. Stop whining about who did what to whom. Let ’em suck it up, play hockey the way it was meant to be played and the loser gets to golf a bit early. In the old days, the losers were the first to go back to the farms or the factories. These multi-million dollar cry babies don’t know how luck they are.

    • tbo1960 - Apr 17, 2012 at 5:54 PM

      Another stupid comment to defend the Pens cheap shots. Go back and watch NFL games in the 60’s and 70’s, you’ll see things that just blow your mind. Go watch the NBA with the Bad Boys, nothing even close to it these days. How about baseball, Bob Gibson would knock you on your butt or Nolan Ryan would hit you in the ribs. So what’s your point, that if the Pens that played out of control played in the old days it would be ok……. I hope you don’t have a job that requires a brain.

  28. wldkat - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    “Here we go Steelers, Here we go” !!!

    • ottograham - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:00 PM

      I like where your heads at.

  29. randman20 - Apr 17, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Penguins after Braydon Schenn’s hit : “It’s a cheap shot. He deserved what he got”
    Jakub Voracek after being demolished by Kronwall earlier in the season: ” I shoulda had my head up”

    I see a different point of view coming from these two teams. As a life-long Flyers fan, I really was concerned about playing the Pens in the first round. Now I say ‘What the hell happened?’. Before any Penguins fan starts whining about any cheap stuff that the Flyers are doing (and we ARE doing it), they should look at the fact that the Flyers are giving up 4 goals and still winning. As well as the fact that the NHL’s leading scorer has exactly zero goals in the series. The cheap stuff and the physical stuff shouldn’t concern the Pens as much as Malkin’s empty stick.

  30. phillyb1983 - Apr 17, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    I love Lemieux, but this is stupid. Fighting has always been apart of the game. The Pens should have dished out the punishment in the end of game 2. As a life long hockey fan I have to say he is wrong, you never want ur players suspended, and get over it, no one was seriously hurt.

  31. phillyphan83 - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    if you guys haven’t noticed, bobhpine is genopringles

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