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But in perhaps the greatest testament to his increasing influence around Pittsburgh, he has being considered for the greatest honor that can be bestowed upon any Pittsburgh resident: a spot on the wall at the original Primanti Brothers restaurant."Hopefully next we're going to put it up," said Toni Haggerty, who has managed the restaurant's original location on 18th Street for 43 years.
"Those hockey players are all nice, but Mario is a bit different.
Last Thanksgiving, the museum unveiled a to-scale replica of Lemieux's hoisting the Cup, a likeness so detailed that players' names are actually engraved on the mock Cup.
It's the most thorough tribute to Lemieux's playing days but certainly not the only one.
Throw in the countless murals and portraits bearing Lemieux's likeness all around town along with the Hall of Famer's role in twice saving the franchise -- once as a player, once as an owner -- and there might not be another athlete with a more considerable influence over a city than Lemieux has in Pittsburgh."I think one of the amazing things about him is he is not from here, but he raised his family here, created this interesting connection with the city because he's not a real public person.
He doesn't enjoy the limelight, he doesn't enjoy formal public interactions.
He has remained true to Pittsburgh."A popular attraction for locals and tourists alike, the sports museum is a testament to Lemieux's on-ice legacy.
He figures prominently in many of its exhibits, which include a number of Lemieux artifacts, including his jersey from the Penguins' first Stanley Cup win in 1991.
"I think it's because people see him as genuine and authentic, and they recognize the kind of challenges he's faced in his own life with his health, with his family and with hockey.
"I think the artistic community in Pittsburgh definitely latches on to sports heroes.
He definitely ranks up there among our list of the elites."Nowhere is Lemieux's influence felt greater in Pittsburgh than in the philanthropic and medical community.
The scope of that influence expanded with the Austin's Playroom initiative, a network of child-friendly havens around Pittsburgh for kids encountering serious medical problems.
Undertaken by Lemieux's wife, Nathalie, the idea came after their child, Austin, was born premature and spent 71 days in neonatal intensive care."Way beyond his athletic talent, there's also his role in the philanthropic community and the medical community," Madarasz said.In recent years, he has also spearheaded the local Little Penguins youth hockey program.