100-point season for Nash doubtful

To date 102 different players have totaled 100 or more points in an NHL season (to see the entire list, click here).

Phil Esposito was the first player to score 100 points in a season, when he scored twice in a 4-0 win over Pittsburgh on March 2, 1969. He went on to tally 126 points that year. Two others joined him later that year.

Bobby Hull set a new NHL record with 58 goals and finished with 107 points, while Gordie Howe recorded his first and only 100 point season at the young age of 41. He is still the oldest player to score 100 points in an NHL season. He did score 100 points in the WHA at 44 and 46 years of age.

Wayne Gretzky did it a whopping 15 times, 13 of them in consecutive seasons, and he is the only player to score 200 in a season, tallying 212, 205, 208 and 215. Mario Lemieux (10), Marcel Dionne (8), Mike Bossy (7) and Peter Stastny (7) round out the top five

Esposito, Dale Hawerchuk, Jari Kurri, Guy Lafleur, Mark Messier, Joe Sakic, Steve Yzerman and Bryan Trottier all did six times.

Only five defenceman have reached the century mark, Bobby Orr did it six times in six straight years. Paul Coffey had five 100-point seasons, while Denis Potvin, Al MacInnis and Brian Leetch did it once.

Many feel the ‘80s were the highest scoring era, but the 1992/1993 season had 21 players score 100 or more points.

In 1971 the Bruins had four players reach triple digits in points, Esposito (152), Orr (139), John Bucyk (116) and Ken Hodge had 105. The Oilers had four teammates on three different occasions and the Penguins did it once.

The last player to have three consecutive 100-point seasons was Jeremy Roenick when he scored 103, 107 and 107 in 1992 to 1994. Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin can match that this coming season if they stay healthy.

44 players did it once; meaning only 58 players in the history of the game have done it multiple times. Denis Maruk had 136 points in 1982, which turned out to be 39 more than he scored in any other season. He had the most points of any guy to do it only once. Vic Hadfield had one great year when he scored 50 goals and had 106 points in 1972, but his next best total was only 73 points.

In the 1978/1979 season Bob MacMillan had the season of his career scoring 108 points with the Atlanta Flames, he never had more than 63 in any other year. The 45-point differential is the largest amongst any player to score 100 points.

Brian Leetch and Joe Thornton had the fewest goals of any 100-point season, finding the twine 22 times. Only Gretzky (23), Adam Oates (23) and (25), Craig Janney (24) and Doug Weight are the others to tally 100 points with 25 or less goals.

I looked into the 100-point season when it was brought up that Rick Nash was being paid for his potential and that he’ll become a 100-point guy soon. Nash’s best total to date is 79 points, and his best junior season was 72 points in 54 games.

The list is lengthy of guys who put up 100 points in junior and never came close to repeating that in the NHL; Patrick Thoresen jumps out in that category.

But how many guys never scored 100 points in junior, but went on to reach the century mark in the NHL? Most of the Europeans haven’t because of the amount of games they played, but I was certain the list wouldn’t be that long amongst players who played major junior, or even in the USHL.

Yzerman had 91 points in Peterborough, before becoming a six-time 100-point guy in the NHL. Phil Esposito had 71 points in 49 games, his only year in the OHL. He also went on to become a six-time 100-point guy, and it was his 5th NHL season the first time he cracked 100 points.

Ron Francis had 48 points in 25 games for Sault Ste. Marie in 1982 before he got called up to Hartford, but he was easily on pace to notch 100 that year in the OHL. Al MacInnis had 84 points in 51 games in Kitchener before getting called up to Calgary during the 1983 season. Jeremy Roenick had 70 points in 28 games for Hull in the QMJHL in 1988/89, while also playing for Chicago that year.

Messier’s best year in the AJHL was 74 points in 54 games. He was never a huge point producer until he got to the NHL. He is a rare exception.

Brendan Shanahan potted 92 points with London, and he only had two 90+ point seasons in the NHL, with his best being 102 in 1994. Charlie Simmer had 99 points with the Greyhounds in the OHL, before rattling off back-to-back 100+ point seasons with the Kings. Eric Staal’s best junior campaign was 98 points before he scored 100 in his 2nd NHL season.

Mike Gartner recorded 90 points for Niagara Falls in the OHL, and he only ever had more than 90 points three times in the NHL, and just the one 102 point season in Washington. Marian Hossa had 85 points in 53 games for Portland in the WHL, and to date he’s only had one 100-point season.

Paul Maclean had 101 points with the Winnipeg Jets in 1985, but never had more than 79 any other year. His best junior year was 71 points in Hull. Strictly on a statistical basis he is the closest comparison to Nash. John Ogrodnick’s best major junior season saw him score 88 points, and he only had two 80+ points seasons in the NHL, with his best season being 1985 when he produced 105 points. Johnny Bucyk tallied 88 points in 70 games for the Edmonton Flyers in the WHL.

There are seven Hall of Famers, and two guys who might get in when they retire, Shanahan and Roenick that are comparables. Considering Nash hasn’t scored over 80 points in junior or the NHL so far, I think it is a stretch to assume he will become a 100-point player soon. It is possible since Maclean and Ogrodnick have done it, but Nash’s chances are slim.

Neal Broten, Craig Janney, Joe Juneau, Joe Mullen, Doug Weight, Adam Oates, Kevin Stevens and Brett Hull all played college and then went on to 100 point seasons. But only Stevens (2), Oates (4) and Hull (4) did it more than once.

Pavel Bure, Markus and Mats Naslund, Kent Nilsson, Daniel Alfredsson, Jari Kurri, Alex Mogilny, Temmu Selanne, Malkin, Ovechkin, Mats Sundin, Jaromir Jagr, Sergei Federov, Peter Stastny and Hakan Loob are the Europeans who tallied 100.

Vic Hadfield only had 48 games seasons when he played junior, Bobby Hull had 52, Jean Pronovost had 54, Darryl Sittler 54, but he did score 99 points one year and Bobby Orr had 56, although he had two 90+ point seasons in Oshawa. Gordie Howe had 48 points in 51 games for Omaha in the USHL. Due to their low GP totals I didn’t include them.

John Cullen played at Boston College, but he did score 157 points in his only IHL season in Flint. Paul Kariya had 100 points in 39 games for Maine in NCAA. Leetch had 101 points in 28 games for Cheshire in the high school league.

Dany Heatley had 70 goals and over 100 points in 1999 for the Calgary Canucks before playing college. Glenn Anderson scored 131 points in 64 games in the BCJHL for Bellingham. Peter Forsberg had 102 points in only 39 games for Modo Hockey Jr in the Swedish Junior league.

Nash’s career stats to this point don’t justify his new $7.8 million per season contract, and based on the past history of the game it doesn’t look promising that he will ever score 100 points.