In 2008, Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins were celebrating the groundbreaking of the Penguins' new arena. On this day, he came clean about how empty his threats to move the Penguins to Kansas City and Las Vegas truly were.
"We had to do a few things to put pressure on the city and the state, but our goal was to remain here in Pittsburgh all the way," Lemieux told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.
He said trips to Kansas City and Las Vegas were little more than an opportunity to grab a nice dinner out of town and apply pressure on negotiations to receive money for a new arena.
"[Pressure] was felt, and that was the important thing," Lemieux said then. "A lot of things happened throughout the negotiations. Ups and downs. That was just a way for us to put more pressure, and we knew it would work."
As David Shoalts at the Globe and Mail pointed out so eloquently, it's a page from the NHL owner's playbook that is well-used. New Jersey did it. The Islanders did it too.
And now, the Edmonton Oilers are giving it another spin.
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