22 Claude Lemieux
This jersey was acquired from a private collector, and the chain of ownership has been researched to the original acquisition from the Avalanche. The jersey has all the nuances of the 96-97 jerseys, including the size tag in the tail. The jersey is a goalie cut with factory wide sleeves that have been custom shortened. In many 96-97's, the washing tag is a single tag with a second tag removed, however in this jersey the "Ripon Athletic" tag is still intact. The neck tag contains the set number "2" in marker, and is smudged. The jersey shows moderate game wear, with a few stick marks throughout.
The defining feature is a small team repair on the left chest, which has been backed by a piece of burgundy jersey material. Further research has shown this to be the result of the removal of the Assistant Captain's A. Once I found a photo match with the "A" in the photo, the removal was easy to see on the jersey, event though it's a very clean removal (repair excepted).
The overall wear and alterations have given the jersey a nice shape that provides a very "Lemieux" look. At one point, the Avalanche LOA that accompanied the jersey was misplaced. In the interim, a chain of documentation was created, with the help of the previous owners, to verify the jersey's authenticity. The LOA has since been located, and the jersey is accompanied by not only the LOA, but the letters from the previous owners, as well.
The jersey has a faded stick mark in the nameplate and a unique wrinkle in the lower part of the left "2", which can be seen in the cover photo of the book Inside Hockey by Gary Miles. Other photo matches exist, as well.
[ click on individual thumbnails to see larger images ]
Born in 1965 in Buckingham, Quebec, Lemieux played two years of junior hockey with the Verdun Junior Canadiens and the Trois-Rivieres Draveurs and was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 1983, the team's fourth pick and 26th overall. At only eight games, his stay with the Canadiens wasn't a long one and he returned to play in the minors for the next several years, making the occasional trip with the Canadiens. He began to establish his reputation as a playoff performer in 1985, landing the Guy Lafleur Award as the most valuable player in the QMJHL playoffs. The next season, after playing with Montreal for 10 games in the regular season, Lemieux helped the Canadiens land the Stanley Cup with his 10 playoff goals, including four game-winning goals, the equivalent of a series win.
He played his first full season with the Canadiens in 1986-87, scoring 27 goals and 53 points. For his clutch play, he was named to the Team Canada squad for the 1987 Canada Cup and to the NHL team in the Rendez-Vous 87' matchup with the Soviet Union that replaced the All-Star Game.
Lemieux stayed with the Canadiens, scoring as many as 31 goals in a season (1987-88), until he was traded at the beginning of the 1990-91 season to the New Jersey Devils for Sylvain Turgeon. Lemieux had a breakout season offensively with New Jersey, scoring 41 goals in 1991-92 and the following season recorded a career-high 81 points. He saved his best for the playoffs, however. He had 18 points in 20 playoff games in 1994 when the Devils lost a close seven-game series to the eventual champion New York Rangers. Lemieux was the leading goal scorer in the 1995 playoffs with 13, including three more game-winning goals. After the Devils won the Stanley Cup, Lemieux was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs.
Lemieux was dealt to the Colorado Avalanche prior to the 1995-96 season. Upon his arrival in Denver, Lemieux became the fourth player to win a Stanley Cup with three different teams, joining Al Arbour, Larry Hillman and Gord Pettinger (Mike Keane has since become the fifth with his Stanley Cup victory with the Dallas Stars in 1999) when Quebec moved to Colorado and marched to the championship. It was only the fifth time a player had won the Cup two consecutive years with different teams.
Lemieux was selected to the Team Canada roster for the World Cup in 1996 and, with his chippy demeanor still intact, he picked up 19 penalty minutes in the eight games as Canada finished second. The next season, Lemieux starred again in the Stanley Cup playoffs, leading the league with 13 goals before Colorado was defeated by the Detroit Red Wings. Early in the 1999-00 season, Lemieux returned once again to the Devils, as New Jersey looked forward to the playoffs. His 19 game-winning goals in the playoffs puts him in second place on the NHL's all-time list behind Wayne Gretzky, who had 24, and one ahead of Maurice Richard.
In the summer of 2000, Lemieux signed as a free agent with the Phoenix Coyotes and spent parts of three seasons with the team before being dealt to the Dallas Stars midway through the 2002-03 season.
Right wing - Shoots right
Born: July 16, 1965 - Buckingham, Quebec
6-1, 225 lbs.
Montreal's second choice, 26th overall in the 1983 Entry Draft. Missed majority of 1989-90 season recovering from abdominal injury suffered in game vs. Boston, October 9, 1989. Traded to New Jersey by Montreal for Sylvain Turgeon, September 4, 1990. Traded to NY Islanders by New Jersey for Steve Thomas, October 3, 1995. Traded to Colorado by NY Islanders for Wendel Clark, October 3, 1995. Traded to New Jersey by Colorado with Colorado's 1st (David Hale) and 2nd (Matt DeMarchi) round choices in 2000 Entry Draft for Brian Rolston and New Jersey's 1st round choice (later traded to Boston - Boston selected Martin Samuelsson) in 2000 Entry Draft, November 3, 1999. Signed as a free agent by Phoenix, December 5, 2000. Traded to Dallas by Phoenix for Scott Pellerin and Dallas' 4th round choice (Kevin Porter) in 2004 Entry Draft, January 16, 2003. Signed as a free agent by EV Zug (Swiss), February 9, 2004.
- Brother of Jocelyn
- QMJHL Second All-Star Team (1984)
- QMJHL First All-Star Team (1985)
- Conn Smythe Trophy (1995)