Lee 'happy' for Tavares to take torch

John Tavares, second from right, is congratulated by teammates after scoring in the second period...

John Tavares, second from right, is congratulated by teammates after scoring in the second period against the Rangeers in Kitchener during Friday night's OHL game in Kitchener. (Photo by Dan Hamilton)

RYAN PYETTE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 3:15 PM ET

Peter Lee doesn't mind that John Tavares is rendering his OHL goals record obsolete.

What he can't stand hearing is how his 213-goal benchmark has stood up for 33 years.

"It makes me sound old," the 53-year-old former Ottawa 67's star said with a laugh from Germany. "I was just glad to be able to play in a great league like the OHL and I'm happy for John.

"We've heard a lot about him already and I'm sure we're going to hear more about him for years to come."

Lee is following Tavares' progress over the Internet. He is GM of Eisbaeren Berlin, which just won the regular-season title in the top-flight German DEL (Bundesliga) and is preparing for its playoff run.

Lee plans to congratulate Tavares on the feat by phone or e-mail. He joked that he met the projected No. 1 NHL pick at last year's world hockey championship in Quebec City and tried to recruit him in a last-ditch effort to protect his goals record.

"I told him if he's going to leave the OHL, he should come to Germany and play with us," Lee said.

"I went to worlds because I do some work for the Swiss team and head coach Ralph Krueger. It was nice to meet John. He was a real gentleman. Very polite young man."

It's interesting to note Lee's record is falling in the same season 67's coach Brian Kilrea is stepping down.

"It's kind of sad to see Killer leaving the bench after all those years," said Lee, who took over 67's coaching duties for one season in 1994-95 during Kilrea's short-lived coaching retirement.

"I played in Ottawa for one year and then Killer came in the next season -- his first as a new, young coach. I was kind of a feisty guy and he told me, 'You're either going to score goals in this league or sit in the penalty box.' "

Lee was a first-round pick of the Canadiens in 1976, but never played for the Habs.

He was traded to Pittsburgh, along with Pete Mahovlich for a package including Pierre Larouche, and became a consistent Penguins scorer until a contract dispute in 1983.

"I went to Germany (Dusseldorf) for a couple months," Lee said. "It's 2009 and I'm still here."

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Comparison of the top two OHL scorers of all-time

PETER LEE

1971-72: 12 games, 1 goal

1972-73: 63 games, 25 goals

1973-74: 69 games, 38 goals

1974-75: 70 games, 68 goals

1975-76: 66 games, 81 goals

Totals: 280 games, 213 goals

JOHN TAVARES

2005-06: 65 games, 45 goals

2006-07: 67 games, 72 goals

2007-08: 59 games, 40 goals

*2008-09: 54 games, 55 goals

*Plays tomorrow at Windsor

Totals: 245 games, 212 goals


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