Now being a part owner of the Penguins as of September 1, 1999 Lemieux realized that the Penguins greatest asset was - himself, despite not having played a game since 1997! He returned to the ice on December 27, 2000 and proceeded to score a goal and a pair of assists in his first game back.
During the 43 games he played during the remainder of the 2000-01 season, Lemieux scored 76 points, the highest points-per-game average of any player that season, and led the Penguins to the conference finals.
before finally calling it a career on January 24, 2006. He would score 22 points in 26 games that season, but felt he could no longer compete at the level he was accustomed to in the past.