One of Hockey's Most Hated, Claude Lemieux, Called Up By Sharks

Over the past couple of months, as I followed the news of Claude Lemieux's quixotic attempt to return to the NHL at the age of 43, I have to admit that I didn't quite believe that one of the most hated men in the history of the game really had a chance to make it happen. ↵

↵Then again, this is the same league where a 46-year old Chris Chelios still manages to take regular shifts in Detroit when he isn't injured, so I guess we shouldn't be too surprised that the Sharks recalled Lemieux from their AHL affiliate in Worcester a few hours ago. Depending on how San Jose head coach Todd McLellan feels, Lemieux may be in the lineup again as early as Tuesday night when the Sharks host Vancouver in San Jose. ↵

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↵Earlier today on NHL Live on XM Radio, ESPN.com's E.J. Hradek noted the news of Lemieux's comeback with a touch of incredulity, adding that it was only a matter of time before Gordie Howe and Alex Delvecchio returned to the lineup in Detroit, while not ruling out the late Hobie Baker attempting a comeback with the Devils. ↵

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↵All kidding aside, the call up may not be the last twist or turn in the story. We need to remember that Lemieux is on a two-way contract, and could wind up getting shipped back to Worcester and obscurity without much muss or fuss if he and his 43-year old body prove not to be up to the rigors of the NHL game. As it turns out, Tuesday night's game is on TSN in Canada, so a nationwide audience back home will get to see if Lemieux can manage to get anything more than a couple of perfunctory shifts. ↵

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↵And for those of you who might be disappointed that the Sharks decided to wait until after Saturday night's 6-5 win over Detroit to call Lemieux back to active duty, the next date to circle on the calendar is February 25, when the Sharks are due to visit the Red Wings in Detroit. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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