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Sharks recall Claude Lemieux
Veteran dream to return to NHL fulfilled
1/19/09 - By Mike Lee

Claude Lemieux's improbable return to the NHL came full circle on Monday, as the Sharks recalled the veteran forward. With 22 NHL campaigns under his belt, the 43-year old right wing signed with the Sharks on December 29th with the intent of somehow making it back to the NHL level. San Jose's recent rash of injuries helped make Lemieux's goal a reality.

Lemieux has played in 23 games this season with the Worcester Sharks, San Jose's top development affiliate. He's scored 3 goals and added 11 assists, in addition to his 24 penalty minutes.

The 1995 Conn Smythe Trophy Winner will potentially add to his 1,197 games played on Tuesday night when the Sharks square off against the Vancouver Canucks.

San Jose may have been poised to recall Lemieux after winger Torrey Mitchell's rehabilitation hit a snag in Worcester on Sunday night. Mitchell injured his leg in a game against the Hershey Bears at the Giant Center in Pennsylvania.

Reports of which leg Mitchell injured are still unclear, but the 2nd year forward was just reassigned to Worcester to get back into playing shape after spending the last 4 months rehabilitating the leg he broke in a training camp scrimmage last September.

The absence of Jeremy Roenick, and his outspoken leadership style in the locker room is another reason Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson may have elevated Lemieux to the Sharks regular roster. Roenick is recovering from shoulder surgery, which he proclaimed would have him on the mend for another 4weeks.

San Jose has had a stable of rookie players cycle through the roster this season, but none of them have stuck. Wilson also sent Brad Staubitz and Tom Cavanagh back to Worcester on Monday.

Staubitz was called up to provide some grit to the lineup in while Jody Shelley sat 5 games, while mending an upper body injury. Lemieux can also fill that need. Cavanagh has one assist in 12 games this season, but has been a regular scratch the last few games.

During his career playing for Montreal, New Jersey, Colorado, Phoenix and Dallas, Lemieux amassed 1,756 penalty minutes, and was once regarded as one of the best agitators in the league. He scored 379 goals and 406 assists in the regular season, and added 158 points (80- goals, 78 assists) in 233 playoff games.

Career Stats: Claude Lemieux


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