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January 22, 2019
Lemieux the Bad
by Michael Menser Dell, Editor-in-Chief
Claude Lemieux is back.
The San Jose Sharks have recalled the 43-year-old Lemieux from Worcester (AHL), where he had 11 points in 23 games. This means Claude, one of the best clutch players in NHL history, will likely be in the lineup Tuesday night when the Fish host the Vancouver Canucks. Hide your Kris Drapers.
Lemieux the Bad is awesome. Sure, he’s a rotten rat bastard, but he makes it fun. I’ve been on both sides of it. As a Penguin fan, I learned to hate Claude during the old Patrick Division scraps with the Devils. He was public enemy No. 1 during that opening round in 1991. But I was also an Avalanche fan, so I saw firsthand how glorious it is to have Claude on your team when the Avs buried those filthy Red Wings in ’96. (Sunshine) Detroit.
It seems somewhat odd, though, the Sharks would be willing to bring in a personality like Lemieux and risk upsetting their winning chemistry. Because what’s the upside here? At best, Claude will be a third- or fourth-liner capable of 10-12 minutes a night. Yeah, he’s a winner, and the Sharks have proven to be choking dogs come playoff time, but if guys like Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau aren’t capable of leading the team, how is Lemieux’s presence going to help?
San Jose will probably give Claude a few games to see if he’s got anything left and then try and swap him for a draft pick. But that seems a lot of grief for little payoff. Why bother? It’s a distraction the Sharks don’t need.
But let’s not worry about the future. Instead, let’s celebrate all things Claude…