By now, everyone's read what Mario Lemieux said in his statement following the Islanders/Penguins game on Friday. And everyone and their mother has given their opinion on if he was right to make the statement and if anything good will actually come from it.
After spending the entire night digging and making shady back-alley deals, I got my hands on the original draft of that statement. I think it provides a little more insight into his true feelings and intentions.
"Hockey is a tough, physical game, and it always should be, but what happened Friday night on Long Island wasn’t hockey. It was a travesty. It was painful to watch the game I love turn into a sideshow like that without being able to put Matt Cooke on the ice."
"The NHL had a chance to send a clear and strong message that those kinds of actions are unacceptable and embarrassing to the sport. It failed. Of course, by that I mean that beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 9-3 is unacceptable and embarrassing to the sport."
"We, as a league, must do a better job of protecting the integrity of the game and the safety of our players. And by 'our', I mean MINE. We must make it clear that those kinds of actions will not be tolerated and will be met with meaningful disciplinary action towards anyone NOT wearing a Penguins jersey."
"If the events relating to Friday night reflect the state of the league, I need to re-think whether I want to be a part of it. And whether I need to try to sign Georges Laraque again."
Thank God that the PR department in Pittsburgh got a hold of it before it hit the press, imagine what would have happened in the media if Mario didn't edit that.
*This is not really his original statement. Obviously.