Brendan Lemieux is finding success as a member of the New York Rangers, and he’s coming by it naturally. Being the guy that gets under other player’s skin should be a breeze for the son of hockey legend, and legendary troublemaker, Claude Lemieux. And while his dad is very proud of that fact, there was a time when he wanted anything else for his son but to follow his path to the NHL.
“I just thought it would be really hard for the son of a dad that played to follow in your father’s footsteps,” Claude told The New York Post in a recent interview. “Number one, I think it could be brutally unfair at times, and it was and it has been at times throughout his young career. And especially the way I played, I wasn’t a player that was very popular aside from the team I played for and the fans that I played in front of, the home fans, so I thought that would be a difficult path.”
The four-time Stanley Cup Champ and one of the best troublemakers to ever play in the league adds he gave in when he realized it’s what his son really wanted to do, and he’s happy that was the choice that Brendan made.
“…At the end of the day, it’s what he wanted to do. I realized when he was around 9 or 10 years old that he was one of the better kids and that he seemed to have what it would take to become a hockey player.”
Oddly enough, Brendon told the Post it was actually his mom who first steered him towards playing hockey. His dad tried to push him towards baseball and golf.
“She gave me that initial push and then my dad pretty much took over once he saw a few games,” said Brendan.
He also admits that there was added pressure on him that came with being the son of an NHL legend, but he got through it and carved his own path to success.
“There was only a couple of years where it was kind of a challenge,” Brendan said. “But once you’re past that, it’s gravy from there.”
He adds there was a time when he had to tell his father to let him live his own life, play his own career and let him learn from his own mistakes.
Brandan was around for two of his father’s Cup wins, but Claude says his son doesn’t remember a lot about them. He doesn’t even remember asking to sleep with hockey’s most prestigious prize when his dad won it with the New Jersey Devils in 2000. He also finds it difficult not to ask Brendan what other players are saying about his father when they chirp him about it on the ice.
“That’s always funny,” Brendan said. “I kind of like it when they say it, because it really sets me up to let them know … the guys who are willing to say that are definitely not half as good a player as he was.”