Pittsburgh went wild with the news this afternoon that Mario Lemieux was making a return to the ice for the first time since the 2005-06 season. Unfortunately, it will be a one-shot deal. But if you can get Mario Lemieux on the ice in any competitive situation, you take it.
#66 will be flanked by Bryan Trottier, Ron Francis, Paul Coffey, Bill Guerin, and others in the Winter Classic alumni game, pitting Penguin greats from the past against Washington Capitals of yesteryear on December 31 at Heinz Field.
On his one-day comeback, Lemieux had this to say: "We all grew up playing on outdoor rinks, so we're really looking forward to having this chance to skate on the Winter Classic rink at Heinz Field. There is so much history between the Penguins and Capitals and it will be good to get together and see friends on both benches."
The Capitals team will be captained by Peter Bondra, who wrapped up his pro career in 2007 and now runs the Slovak national team. Full rosters have yet to be announced for either squad, but I'm sure organizers won't have much trouble rounding up players for this unique game.
Capacity for the contest will be 10,000, and tickets will be available on December 17 through Ticketmaster at a cost of just $25, which sounds surprisingly low for such an event. The ticket covers both the alumni game (which starts at 9:30...a.m.) and Penguin practice, which starts at 11:30.