Lemieux began the press conference by saying that the team would relocate to Kansas City if a deal couldnt be reached with Pittsburgh. The former hockey great then stuck out his right pinky finger, jutted it in the corner of his mouth and slowly uttered, Or will we?
We couldnt be happier here in Pittsburgh. Id compare our glee to that of the average American at the start of hockey season, Lemieux said. But then again, perhaps wed be really excited about playing in the beautiful state of Kansas.
When a reporter started to explain that Kansas Citys Sprint Center is actually in Missouri, Lemieux replied, You will address me as Mr. Super Mario, or I will not answer your questions.
The press conference was held after the Penguins sent press releases to the media early Wednesday. The release sent to Kansas City media was titled Kansas City Penguins? In Texas, the release read Houston Penguins? And in Belarus, the release began Mogilev Penguins?
In the middle of the press conference, Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell walked in, followed closely by Tim Leiweke, who is negotiating on behalf of Kansas City for Los Angeles-based AEG. As Lemieux spoke, he pulled a hockey stick out from the lectern and set up several pucks along the stage.
Excuse me just for a minute, Lemieux said to the reporters. Then, to Rendell and Leiweke, he said, Whoever blocks the most pucks gets the team!
Lemieux reared back his stick and proceeded to unload a series of slapshots at Rendell and Leiweke. Rendell made several valiant stops to go ahead early, 4-3. But Leiweke came back with two skilled stops. One of them struck Leiweke in the mouth, and he spit out several of his teeth.
Leiweke thanked Lemieux for the chance to be hit in the face.
You know I was just kidding about that getting the team promise, right? Lemieux asked with a laugh.
Rendell said, But Im guessing you still want to be pleasured by the Pennsylvania first lady?
Lemieux ignored the question and turned back to the reporters. As I was saying, Kansas City reeks of sewage. Is it me, or did somebody flush a floater into Brush Creek?
After a long pause, he continued, But you sure do a have a shiny new arena.