Birthday Bio: Claude Lemieux | Sports | CBC Sports

Birthday Bio: Claude Lemieux

Posted: Monday, July 16, 2012 | 09:15 AM

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Claude Lemieux is arguably the best agitating playoff performer in NHL history. (File/Associated Press) Claude Lemieux is arguably the best agitating playoff performer in NHL history. (File/Associated Press)

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If he was on your team, you loved him. As for players on the NHL's 29 other teams, well, let's just say Claude Lemieux won't be overwhelmed with birthday cards from former opponents.
CBCSports.ca wants to wish a happy birthday to athletes and those other individuals involved in the sports world that left a lasting legacy on their game. Today, we say "Happy 47th" to Claude Lemieux, the NHL's prototypical pest and playoff performer.

If he was on your team, you loved him. As for players on the NHL's 29 other teams, well, let's just say Claude Lemieux won't be overwhelmed with birthday cards from former opponents.

Already sporting a Stanley Cup ring from Montreal's magical run in 1986, the right wing from Buckingham, Que., was fitted for a second with the Devils in 1995 thanks to his MVP-winning performance. New Jersey's first Cup win in franchise history came in large part to his services; Lemieux potted 13 goals in 20 games (more goals than he scored all season) to earn the Conn Smythe Trophy:



The following season, Lemieux and his super-pest play (he was known un-affectionately as "Claude the Fraud") were traded to Colorado. It was in the Mile-High City where he cemented his status as (arguably) the greatest NHL agitator by helping the Avalanche win their first Cup and fostering a new rivalry in the NHL between his club and the Detroit Red Wings:



Kris Draper's jaw, cheekbone and nose were broken after that hit while Lemieux was suspended for two games. As Dino Ciccarelli indicated, the hostilities between the two clubs didn't fade. Next spring, the two teams clashed again, and Lemieux was front and centre in the melee:



Lemieux retired in 2009 as one of only a handful of NHLers to lift the Stanley Cup with three separate teams.

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