For more than 25 years, hockey fans have wondered how they would look playing on Mario Lemieux’s wing.
Well, 60 lucky fans may get the opportunity to turn that fantasy to a reality this January, when Lemieux hosts the first-ever Mario Lemieux Fantasy Camp.
The camp will be held Jan. 4-8 in Pittsburgh, and feature a tournament with the consolation and championship games being played at Consol Energy Center, home of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Campers shouldn’t worry if Lemieux isn’t on their team, though.
There will be a few other players there worth playing with — you know, like Hockey Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier, 1980 U.S. Olympic hero Mike Eruzione and three-time Stanley Cup champion Mark Recchi, as well as former NHL players Rick Tocchet, Gary Roberts, Bill Guerin, Jay Caufield and Tie Domi.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back on the ice — not only with some old friends from my NHL days, but also with a lot of amateur players who play for the love of the game,” said Lemieux. “And we’ll all be coming together to raise funds for my foundation’s important cancer projects.”
All money raised from the camp will benefit the Mario Lemieux Foundation, which is dedicated to raising funds for cancer research as well as Austin’s Playroom Project, an initiative that creates playrooms in medical facilities.
Campers will sign a fantasy contract and receive top-of-the-line hockey equipment, including helmet, authentic jersey, gloves, shell and socks. They will get elite-level instruction and spend four days on the ice with Lemieux and the other pros.
Participants also will attend Penguins games against the New York Rangers on Jan. 6 and the New Jersey Devils on Jan. 7, as well as a Penguins practice.
In addition to ice time, equipment, tickets and gifts, campers will receive five-day, four-night accommodations at Cambria Suites, located next to Consol Energy Center. All meals and beverages are also provided.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity for amateur players to take the ice with Mario Lemieux and these other stars and raise money for a great cause,” said Tom Grealish, president of the Lemieux Foundation. “I know Mario thinks it’s going to be a lot of fun for all involved.”