Several weeks ago, I had posted a story that mentioned Claude Lemieux's interest in returning to the NHL after a five-year absence. Well, it seems that Claude hasn't given that dream up just because no teams have been interested so far. He's eyeing pro hockey in North America again - this time in the CHL. The league sent out the following press release:
The 2008 Central Hockey League Ray Miron President’s Cup Champion Arizona Sundogs have announced that four-time Stanley Cup Champion and former Conn Smythe Trophy winner Claude Lemieux has joined the Club for formal on-ice workouts. In September, Lemieux expressed interest in making a return to the National Hockey League (NHL).
Lemieux, 43, won four Stanley Cup Championships with three different teams (Montreal – 1986, New Jersey – 1995, Colorado – 1996, New Jersey – 2000) during his 20 seasons in the NHL. A veteran of nearly 1,200 NHL games, Lemieux won the Conn Smythe trophy while with New Jersey in 1995, selected as the league’s playoff MVP.
In 1197 regular season NHL contests, the Buckingham, Quebec, native registered 379 goals, 406 assists and 1756 penalty minutes (PIM).
Known for strong play in the postseason, Lemieux added 80 goals, 78 assists and 529 PIM in 233 playoff appearances and ranks among the league’s all-time best in several playoff categories. His 233 playoff appearances rank tied for fourth all-time and his 80 career playoff goals rank ninth all-time. Lemieux also ranks third all-time in career playoff game-winning goals (19) and career PIM (529).
Lemieux has been skating with the Sundogs for the past week and will continue to do so in an effort to pursue a comeback to the NHL. Five years removed from the game, Lemieux retired from NHL play in 2002-03 after splitting his final season with the Phoenix Coyotes and Dallas Stars.
The Sundogs next take on Southwest Division foe New Mexico on Wednesday, Oct. 22 at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley. Game time is set for 7:05pm. Tickets are available by phone at 1-866-4-GET-TIX (1-866-443-8849), on the internet at www.gettix.net and in person at the Tim’s Toyota Center Box Office.