Widely considered as one of the greatest ice hockey players of all time, Lemieux has been one of the NHL's most successful performers, winning the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer on six occasions. He topped the century mark for points scored for an incredible 10 seasons and has been named to the NHL First All Star team five times.
He inspired the Pittsburgh Penguins to two Stanley Cup titles, winning the Calder Trophy in 1984, before retiring from the game in May of 1997; back surgery in 1991, a serious cancer scare in 1993 and general fatigue had taken their toll. Two years later, put together a group of investors to take over the Penguins franchise, with himself as president. But, in December 2000, he decided to return to the rink and, by the end of that month, had scored the 1,500th point of his remarkable career.
As the NHL season moved into 2001, Lemieux proved his comeback had been an inspired decision. With 155 points in 89 games, he was able to lift the Penguins to impressive heights, even though they were eventually eliminated by the New Jersey Devils in the NHL playoffs. He was named on the North American and World All-Star Teams at the start of 2001 and scored his 40th career hat-trick in a 3-1 win against the Canadians to move into second place on the all-time list. He followed up with two points in the All-Star Game in Denver before netting his 10th career overtime goal later in February.