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Nolan makes his first trip to The House That Mario Built

The 1985-86 Penguins, with Ted Nolan the second player from the left on the top row and a 19-year-old Mario Lemieux dead center in row 2 (

By Mike Harrington

PITTSBURGH -- Ted Nolan's big claim to fame from his playing days is that he played with both Wayne Gretzky (on the 1977-78 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) and Mario Lemieux (on the 1985-86 Pittsburgh Penguins).

Tonight is Nolan's first game as a coach inside the Consol Energy Center, as his last appearance with the New York Islanders came when the Penguins played inside Mellon Arena. The old Igloo is now a parking lot across the street from the new building. 

The Consol Center is widely referred to as "The House that Mario Built". There's a statue of Lemieux in front, a giant mural of him in the concourse, his No. 66 hangs from the rafters and there's a Suite 66 at ice level with several pieces of memorabilia from his career.

"I remember a lot," a smiling Nolan said today when asked his memories of Lemieux. "I remember sitting down next to Mario and they had a poster night. I asked him to sign it and he asked for who and I said, 'to me.' I still got it at home. It's 'To Teddy.' That's it. When you have a chance to play with him and watch him in practice. .... I spread that story around quite a bit."


Pittsburgh Penguins | Ted Nolan
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

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About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

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Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

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