Fans of the Pittsburgh Penguins are well aware of who Mario Lemieux is; the greatest player in franchise history and one of the most popular names in western Pennsylvania.
While not related, it could be time for Penguins fans to know the name Brendan Lemieux.
The son of three-time Stanley Cup Champion, Claude, Brendan was not extended a qualifying offer from the Los Angeles Kings and will be walking to free agency.
Lemieux isn’t going to score you a ton of points, but what he can do is act a lot like his father and be a pest on the ice.
In 230 career games in the NHL, Lemieux has scored only 60 points (31-29) but recorded 536 hits and 410 penalty minutes.
Put the time he bit Brady Tkachuk aside, Lemieux knows exactly how to throw his body and get under the opponent’s skin.
You may be thinking to yourself, why would the Penguins want this guy? He’s just a tough guy and can’t score.
To that you must consider who is in the Penguins front office right now; Ron Hextall and Brian Burke.
Lemieux’s game is built in the Burke School of ‘Truculence.’
You also have to figure that joining a new system can wake up a new level of offensive production in Lemieux.
With an offensive minded Winnipeg Jets and New York Rangers, Lemieux was nearing 20 points in a season; with the Kings his numbers took a minor dip.
The Penguins have an offensive mindset and could wake up whatever scoring touch he has.
In no way is Lemieux any more than a third or fourth line player on the Penguins, but bringing in a thumping winger can create opportunities.
Lemieux won’t cost a boat load of money and doesn’t need to be around for a long time, but he can be beneficial for the short term.
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