Official Sharks article here. I hadn't realize he hadn't official retired back in '03. As a reminder, I wasn't watching hockey in '03. If I had been, I'd have been watching the Ducks or the Kings, and the world would be a darker place.
But I digress.
I think we all knew from the moment he signed with the China Sharks that he would, if at all possible, be up with the big club at some point. I'm still not sure what DW saw in him that warranted such a promotion, but he worked for it, and by all accounts was a huge boon to the WorSharks. When he did make it all the way back up, I really wanted to see it work out for him. He's here, and it'd be a helluva story, so why not cheer the guy on? Unfortunately, it was not in the cards, as Lemieux was sidelined with injuries and illness.
Not only did such long breaks in his play not entirely endear him to some fans, he was seen as taking up space someone else could have been better used in. But as confusing as a move as it may have been, I wasn't going to crap all over the guy for taking a chance to come back. He came so dangerous close to scoring a few times and you could tell that he still had the skill and drive, but the game had changed since he'd last taken to the ice, and his bite had lessened with age. He did try though. I don't think we can accuse him of not wanting to succeed. My hope was that should he find himself down with the NHL at the end of this season (and I figured he might, one way or another), that he'd stay to work or skate with the WorSharks.
The Sharks article says M. Lemieux would like to couch one day. I could see that happening, just one particular city. ;)
And with this announcement, thus ends Gray's great run with calling him "le mew" and picturing this:
No offense intended, M., I just have a nasty habit of leaving that second E out of you name when I type it, so I made a nickname of sorts. Many Sharks have them. It's because I like you. <3