Saturday, 10.16.2010 / 4:51 PM / Features By Sam Kasan
Hockey Hall of Famer and Penguins chairman Mario Lemieux was at CONSOL Energy Center Saturday morning. But he wasn’t sitting in usual seat in the owner’s box. Instead, Lemieux was behind the bench.
Lemieux is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite Tier1 U14 Team, a local traveling squad comprised of top amateur players, including Lemieux’s son, Austin, from Pittsburgh born in 1996.
“When it comes to hockey, it’s been in my blood since I was 3 or 4 years old. I love coaching the kids, especially at that level,” Lemieux said. “I’ve been doing it for four or five years. It’s a lot of fun for me trying to teach these kids and see them develop from the beginning of the season to the end. It’s very satisfying at the end of the day.”
The Penguins Elite are competing in the Tier 1 ’96 Super Series amateur hockey tournament, which is taking place at various rinks around Pittsburgh over the weekend, and was hosted by CONSOL Energy Center Saturday.
The Tier 1 ’96 Super Series tournament concludes Sunday. The fact that the series chose Pittsburgh to host the tournament is another testament to how much the sport of hockey is growing in the region, and that Pittsburgh is being recognized on a national level.
Notes: Lemieux wasn’t the only former NHL player at the Tier 1 ’96 Super Series. Pierre Turgeon is an assistant coach with Colorado and Brian Bradley is head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning.