Editor's note: Even if you haven't been keeping up with our community-organized Lighthouse Hockey Mock Draft, kfallon took his selection in a different direction that deserves a look.
I don't claim to be an expert in hockey or the Penguins, so I sought one out and hit the jackpot. I found Greatness. A player so great, he still graces the cover of video games to this day. So great, he has little need for basic American sustenance. So great, his team would have won three straight Stanley Cups were it not for some no-name punk.
Mario Lemieux is co-owner of the Penguins (along with Ron Burkle). He tends to keep a modest profile in league matters but was kind enough to take some time out and lend his insight:
KF: It's an honor and a pleasure, Mario! Welcome to Lighthouse Hockey.
ML: Lighthouse? This doesn't have anything to do with the Islanders, does it?
KF: We get that a lot. Lighthouse Hockey is dedicated to players from some of the less-hockey-centric countries in Europe. We cover Finns, Swiss, Czechs, and a small contingent covers Danish players with a passionate vigor.
ML: Understood. Just making sure. Our organization is proud of our consistency; we're always prepared.
KF: Let's get this out of the way: You're the owner of the Penguins; wouldn't talking about the draft to me be a bit of a disservice to your team?
ML: Good question. Though there are certain circumstances I believe it's beneficial to use my influence as an owner, I try to leave our draft to our general manager, Ray Shero. He does a great job.
KF: Let's take a look back at this season. What do you think went wrong this year?
ML: I don't like to make excuses, but clearly the powers that be didn't want Pittsburgh to win another Cup this year. Sidney (Crosby)'s year was derailed by a blatant cheap shot. This kind of play is unnecessary, and those kind of players should be banned from the league. We couldn't protect our best assets, and it cost us.
KF: Kind of makes you want to tear down posters from your bedroom door.
ML: I'm not quite sure I follow you.
KF: It's a new saying. It means sometimes even the people some revere can drive you nuts.
ML: Never heard of it.
KF: Apologies. Looking forward to the draft, what would you be looking for?
ML: Aside from skill obviously, we're always looking for character. The conduct of your players define your franchise as a whole. We take character very seriously when making personnel decisions.
KF: We went over the LHH Mock Draft 1st round before we got started, so let's get to it. Who would you select at 23?
ML: Portland Winterhawks Defenseman Joseph Morrow.
KF: Why Morrow?
ML: Well first of all, he's Canadian. Not one of those European goons. But Joseph possesses wonderful skating touch and soft hands. He scored 49 points on a Winterhawks team that to the best of my knowledge, wasn't all that talented at the forward position. I think he could bring some punch to our already-spectacular power play.
KF: Morrow is listed at 6'1" and a touch under 200 pounds so he certainly isn't small, but a bit short for a defenseman. What would you say to critics claiming he may need to develop a physical edge to his game?
ML: As I always say, it's easier to teach a scorer to check.
KF: That sounds very familiar…
ML: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Kevin.
KF: Right you are. Thanks for your time, Mario!
Up next on the LHH Mock Draft at #24 are IslesOfficial and the Detroit Red Wings.