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Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday Flashback: Mario Returns from Cancer Treatment

Summer gives us time to look back and reflect on the hockey season.  It gives us time to remember years gone by.  It's time to go back and remember some of the most memorable moments in team history.  Today we look at Mario's biggest comeback: from cancer

On January 12th, 1993, Mario Lemieux dropped a bomb that shocked the sporting world: he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer that starts in the white blood cells.  He had to stop playing immediately to begin treatment as the hockey, and sporting, world watched one of its biggest stars deal with something earth shattering.

On the morning of March 2nd, 1993, Mario finished his final treatment.  Undeterred he hopped on a plane and flew to Philadelphia, dead set on playing that night after missing 23 straight games.  That night he made his return in front of a usually hostile Flyers crowd.  That night would be different.

Before puck drop Mario took the ice.  As he skated out prior to the anthem an usual sound came from the Flyers faithful in the crowd: cheers.  Loud, bountiful cheers welcomed back the best player in the NHL.

The Penguins would go on to lose 5-4 that night but with a goal Mario truly won.  Not looking like he'd missed a beat, Mario returned from fighting cancer to play a total of 60 games that year and register a mind numbing 161 points.  Super Mario proved super once again and defeated his greatest foe to date in doing so.

Join us next week for Flashback Friday.


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