The Tribune Review provided some details Sunday about the Mario Lemieux statue that will eventually sit outside Consol Energy Center. It will reportedly capture the 1988-89 version of Lemieux, which is both surprising and appropriate. Surprising, because he only became the widely revered figure he is today after he came back from retirement in 2000, when the league and its fans came to realize what they'd been missing. I would have expected the model for the statue to be Lemieux the elder statesman, the returning king, and the owner of the Penguins, not the younger Mario who, as most Pittsburghers know, was the more prolific and dynamic version. Now future generations will look at the statue and get to see a snapshot of the player at what was really the peak of his physical dominance, splitting two nameless Islanders' defensemen, which is as it should be. The helpless defensemen have no names on the backs of their jerseys, incidentally, only because Lemieux himself requested they be spared eternal notoriety as the guys getting abused by the greatest player any of us have ever seen.
Someone should probably figure out a way to televise the Winter Classic alumni game. Mario Lemieux is playing, and I suspect a few people will want to watch him.