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It's Been 30 Years Since Lemieux's Magical Season - Junior Hockey News

Published: Tuesday, 3 Sep 2013

While Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers were tearing up the NHL 30 years ago, a then-heir apparent was making hockey history of his own in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Mario Lemieux, who was then a 17-year-old forward for the Laval Titans, was entering the 1983-84 season as the top junior prospect in the world. He was coming off a 184-point season in just 66 games and saying that he busted out in his draft year is an understatement.

Try these numbers: Lemieux scored 133 goals and assisted on 149 others for a whopping total of 282 points. Oh, by the way, he did that in just 70 games. Lemieux broke Guy Lafleur's record of 130 goals set during the 1970-71 season and also annihilated Pierre Larouche's single-season point total of 252 points.

You can re-read the last paragraph if you want to because there weren't any typing errors. As Yogi Berra said "You can look it up." That is, if you don't believe me.

On a side note, Lemieux racked up another 52 points (29 goals, 23 assists) in 14 playoff games en route to the QMJHL Championship.

I'm not exactly a math whiz, but in 84 total games, Lemieux found the net a total of 162 times and had 172 assists for a whopping 334 points.

Lemieux averaged just a tad over four points a game. That's not a season, that's almost two, maybe three seasons put together. But not to be taken for granted, the "Q" was a very-high scoring league. At that time, the final scores would resemble those of the recent NHL All Star Games.

Look at two of John Tavares' best seasons in the OHL. From 2006-08, Tavares scored 112 goals and racked up 140 assists. Even Tavares' 252 points during that two-year span can't match up to Lemieux's destroyer season of '83-'84.

Just think of it... back then, there wasn't such thing as YouTube, Twitter or any other kind of social media. Videos of Gretzky during his Oiler days can be seen online, but imagine if game footage of Lemieux's days in Laval were on YouTube at that time?!

If there were social media, Lemieux's hype would have matched hysteria around the junior careers of Eric Lindros, Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid and Tavares all put together. Then multiply that by 10. That's what you would probably get.

A lot of hockey fans look at Wayne Gretzky's NHL records and say that the majority of his records won't be broken, but one thing can be said about Lemieux's magical season 30 years ago: Even the Great One couldn't match Super Mario.

Photo of Mario Lemieux courtesy of the QMJHL


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* Article disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Alex Muscat, and not necessarily the views of JuniorHockey.com. JuniorHockey.com does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.

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