Wayne Gretzky accomplished quite a bit over the course of his 20-year NHL career, setting league records in points (2,856), assists (1,962) and goals (894).
But one of those records has a chance of being broken.
Alex Ovechkin has been a force for the Washington Capitals since he entered the league in 2005. The left wing has 692 goals, just 202 shy of Gretzky’s record, and has a real shot at catching The Great One in the NHL history books.
Ovechkin has scored at least 30 goals in each of his 15 seasons, including at least 50 in seven seasons and a career-high 65 in 2007-08.
Gretzky, who will serve as an honorary captain for this year’s All-Star Game on Saturday night for the Pacific Division, is thrilled at the possibility of someone being the new holder of a record he’s held for so long.
“I’m a big believer that records are made to be broken,” Gretzky said, via NHL.com. “What I accomplished, I’m very proud of. It’s hard to do what I did, and it’s really hard to do what he’s doing now. But there’s no question in my mind that he has a real legitimate chance of doing it. The two things that you need; you’ve got to stay healthy, and he’s proven that over his career. He plays hard and he stays healthy. And, secondly, you’ve got to be on a good team — and he plays on a good team.
“… I think it would be wonderful for the game,” he added. “Anything that’s positive is always good for the game. I said jokingly to Sergey (Kocharov, Capitals vice president of communications) … I said I hope (Capitals owner Ted Leonsis) realizes that when I was chasing Gordie’s record, Gordie and Colleen got to fly on the team plane. I hope I get invited to fly on the team plane because I would love to be at the game.”
If Ovechkin scores at least 50 goals in each of his next four seasons, Gretzky very well may be on a plane to pass the torch.
Thumbnail photo via Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports Images