The origins of the Gordie Howe Hat Trick — at least one goal, one assist and one fight, all in the same game — remain a mystery, but since around 1997 the 'Gordie' has remained one of the NHL's most endearing unofficial honors. Kyle Clifford of the Los Angeles Kings actually bet a porterhouse steak with Kevin Westgarth on which one would get a Howe hatty first.
The naming of other hockey achievements for players is usually the stuff of Twitter comedy memes, but this suggestion by Danny Gray of The Leafs Nation got our attention: The Mario Lemieux hat trick.
[Mario's] 5 goals 5 ways is an impressive, but not a very repeatable feat. On the other hand, 3 goals: one scored at Even Strength, on the Power Play, and Shorthanded, is impressive and seemed like something that would be rare enough to mark a genuine achievement.
Indeed, his research revealed that since 1987-88, there have been 94 "Marios" by 75 different players, including Tyler Wright of all people having done it multiple times. We actually haven't had one in the NHL since Corey Perry in Dec. 2010.
Mario had 236 power-play goals (seventh all-time) and 49 shorties (fourth).
Gotta say, we sort of dig this. It's a measure of a player's value to the team that he has the opportunity to play in all situations effectively, and it's a hell of a thing to score both as a penalty killer and a power-play scorer.
Until someone creates the Alex Ovechkin hat trick (Empty Net Goal, Power-Play Assist, Questionable Hit), we ask you dear readers:
Pass or Fail: The Mario Lemieux Hat Trick.