While most sports have a few names hovering around it’s respective GOAT status, hockey is one that is basically far and away. Sure, some people believe Bobby Orr revolutionized the game, and a shorter career threw an unfair circumstance into Mario Lemieux’s career. Some will also argue that today’s players are taking the ice to a different game, and recency bias may also effect some’s opinion. When it’s all said and done, most people will agree that Wayne Gretzky, aptly nicknamed The Great One, is the best to ever lace up the skates.
If you look down an NHL record book there appears to be more records belonging to Gretzky than not. In a testament to his well-balanced supremacy, Gretzky managed to score way more goals than the game’s greatest pure goal scorers, and also managed to amass way more assists than the game’s greatest playmakers. With 2857 total points, Gretzky massively eclipsed Jaromir Jagr’s 2nd place in the all-time standings (1921 points) even though Jagr played 246 more games – the equivalent of three whole seasons.
If anyone has a shot at challenging The Great One’s record of 894 regular season goals anytime soon it’s Washington Capitals captain and recent Stanley Cup champion Alex Ovechkin.
Ovi has 607 goals, which is 287 tallies short of Gretzky’s mark, and when the puck drops next season he will be 33 years old. That is still a huge margin, and to catch it he would need to keep up a pretty crazy pace. If Ovi were to play until he’s 40, he would have to score an average of 41 goals per season over the 7 years. When asked about his chances, Ovi used another hockey legend to explain just how hard it would be.
For a man that’s known for his eccentric personality, Ovi is being pretty realistic about this one. Gretzky’s record may just never be touched.
(H/T Twitter/Igor Eronko)