Alex Ovechkin is on the brink of more history, and “The Great One” is keeping a close eye on him.
Wayne Gretzky holds the record for the most goals in the history of the NHL with 894. The number has stood for a long time and many believed the record to be an unattainable one to reach. That, of course, was before Ovechkin showed his ability to be one of the very best the game has ever seen — especially when it comes to putting the puck in the back of the net.
The 37-year-old currently sits at 797 goals, three away from becoming the third man in NHL history to hit the 800-goal plateau and four away from tying Gordie Howe for second all-time with 801. So far this season, Ovechkin has shown no signs of slowing down either with 17 goals to his name through 30 games. He’s still a ways away from Gretzky’s record but that doesn’t mean “The Great One” isn’t paying attention.
ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski interviewed Capitals owner Ted Leonsis about Washington’s captain and while he made clear there are no plans to rebuild the team with Ovechkin taking history, Leonsis also revealed Gretzky is prepared to follow around Ovechkin to see his record be broken when the time comes.
“For Wayne to be as gracious as he is… that didn’t happen in baseball, where there was reluctance,” Leonsis told Wyshynski. “Wayne knows that Alex is legit and they have a friendship now. He’s promised us. He said, ‘I want to fly around and go to every stop.’ So that last season, when it’s within sight, he’ll probably just move in with us.”
Howe did the same to see Gretzky break his record so keeping up the tradition — if Ovechkin can reach the mark — is special.
Ovechkin’s next chance to hit the 800 mark is Tuesday as the Capitals take on the Chicago Blackhawks.