Photo Credit: nhl.com

30 Years Ago Today: Gretzky Becomes the Greatest

It was on this date, October 15th, thirty years ago in 1989 that Wayne Gretzky scored his 1, 851st career point, surpassing Gordie Howe in total career points, and thus becoming the greatest of all time.

It was both fitting and painful, as Gretzky set the record against the Edmonton Oilers, in Northlands Coliseum, in a 5-4 overtime win for the Los Angeles Kings. Gretzky registered an assist in the first period to tie Howe’s record of 1, 850 after Bernie Nicholls scored to give the Kings a 1-0 lead, but the Oilers would tie the game, then take and maintain the lead, continuously taking the lead whenever the Kings would rally to tie the game. With time winding down, it was looking like the Oilers were going to earn the win and Gretzky, the league, and the fans were going to have to wait for the record to be broken. But, with 53 seconds left in the game, The Great One would flip a backhand shot past Bill Randford, breaking the record with his 1, 851st point. The game would be stopped for fifteen minutes as Gretzky was honoured, with his parents and Howe himself included in the celebration.

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Gretzky would then seal the historic night by, of course, scoring the overtime winner 1:36 into the extra frame.