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Lemieux statue to be unveiled in March

Pittsburgh Penguins owner Mario Lemieux is set to have a statue in his honor unveiled by the club in early March.

The presentation will take place at noon on March 7, prior to the Pens' home contest against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"Mario Lemieux is a unique figure in the history of Pittsburgh -- a Hall of Fame athlete who went on to buy the Penguins and become the first player-owner of the modern era, and also a community-minded citizen who continues to raise millions of dollars for cancer research and neonatal research," said David Morehouse, CEO and president of the Penguins. "This statue will be an everlasting tribute to his legacy."

Lemieux holds the rare distinction of having saved the fortunes of the sagging franchise twice: once as a player and once as owner.

The Montreal native was the first-overall pick in the 1984 draft and spent a spectacular, but injury-riddled 17-year career in the Steel City. He totaled 1,723 points (690 goals, 1,033 assists) in 915 regular-season games and added 172 points (76G, 96A) in 107 playoff tilts that included a pair of Stanley Cups (1991-92).

Lemieux then became owner in 1999 and shepherded the team out of bankruptcy due to mismanagement of previous owners. He again played a role in keeping the Penguins in Pittsburgh in 2007, helping broker a deal that allowed the Penguins to have a new home built to replace the aging Mellon Arena.

After the Penguins won the Stanley Cup in June of 2009, he garnered the distinction of being the only person to win NHL titles as both player and owner.