Mario Makes Comeback Official

Archived from 2000-01 season.

NHL teams

Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux will end his retirement and play again for the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team he now owns. Lemieux made his comeback official Friday in a news release.

"I missed the game and missed the challenge of competing," Lemieux said. "I am excited by the challenge of attempting a comeback. I look forward to the chance to get back on the ice with the players."

The NHL has no specific rule that prohibits an owner from playing, but Lemieux would have to resign his position as Penguins' Governor and could not vote on league issues.

Lemieux has reportedly worked out since November and skated for the last two weeks. In October he said that if the recent rules crackdowns were in place a few years ago, he might never have left the game.

"I think it's great for the game. It really allows the top players to go on the ice and display their talents to the fullest," Lemieux said. "And that's what we should be doing."

Lemieux, 35, led the Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 1991 and 1992. He retired after the 1996-97 season as the sixth-leading scorer in NHL history with 613 goals and 881 assists for 1,494 points in 745 games, all with the Penguins.

Lemieux was inducted to the Hockey Hall Of Fame just months after retiring. In September 1999 he became the Penguins' co-owner while saving the team from bankruptcy.

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