NHL: The best captain in each team’s history (Updated 2023)

NHL (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images)
NHL (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images) /
7 of 31
Pittsburgh Penguins, Mario Lemieux
Pittsburgh Penguins, Mario Lemieux (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Best NHL captain from each franchise: Pittsburgh Penguins – Mario Lemieux

When it comes to which hockey player wins the award for the most popular captain of all time, many will easily say Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was so popular, not only was a statue created in his honor right in front of the CONSOL Energy Center but he had multiple stints as team captain of the Penguins throughout the 80s, 90s, and 00s.

He played 17 straight years for the Penguins and even though he dealt with numerous injuries and health problems, always put it all on the ice when it mattered most. Even while battling cancer and eventually beating it, he inspired millions across the world by never giving up and focusing on doing whatever it took to build a championship team.

Lemieux was one of the main reasons they won back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 1991 and 1992 and also made NHL history once his playing days were over. He’s the only player in NHL history to score 30+ power play goals in two different seasons on top of scoring the most power play points in a single season at 80.

As the owner of the Penguins, he helped the franchise win three more Stanley Cup championships in 2009, 2016, and 2017. This is also another notch in the NHL history books as Lemieux is the only person to have his name on the Stanley Cup as a player and owner.