Mario Lemieux: Time To Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

John GalloContributor IIMarch 20, 2011

PITTSBURGH - OCTOBER 07:  Team owner Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman arrive for the opening faceoff between the Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers at the Consol Energy Center on October 7, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Five days ago, ESPN did an article citing Mario Lemieux's plan for penalizing the team for a player's indiscretions and fining that team based upon the length of the suspension, including multipliers for a repeat offender. According to Lemieux, the breakdown is as follows:

• One to two games: $50,000 fine to team

• Three to four games: $100,000 fine to team

• Five to eight games: $250,000 fine to team

• Nine to 10 games: $500,000 fine to team

• Eleven to 15 games: $750,000 fine to team

• More than 15 games: $1 million fine to team

Lemieux went on to say, "We all have to take responsibility if we are going to improve the game," and said that under this plan, the Penguins would have a $600k fine from the PIT-NYI game that got out of hand.

Interesting statement from a man that has employed Matt Cooke, defending him during the fiasco involving Cooke and Marc Savard, in which Savard has essentially had his career ended but a blatantly vicious and unnecessary show of goons-manship, and then blasted the League for lack of discipline during the Crosby situation. 

As a player, Lemieux was one of the best and had tremendous talent during his prime. Recently, however, he has shown himself to have a double standard when it comes to his players and needs to be consistent if he wants people to take him seriously.

From an outsider's perspective (and by outsider, I am referring to non-Penguin fans), this is seeming to be a ploy to gain an advantage and create harsher punishment for other teams, getting enforcers from other teams suspended, while employing one of the dirtiest players in the league and running other teams while their enforcers are out. 

If that is the kind of legacy that Lemieux wants to leave, fine; but if he is really serious about protecting players and changing the game for the better, then he needs to get serious and be consistent.

And the best way to do that is to pull out that checkbook and start writin' that check.