On this day in 1984, Wayne Gretzky becomes fastest in NHL history to reach 1,000 points

Photo credit:Edmonton Journal
Cam Lewis
6 months ago
December 19, 1984 — Edmonton Oilers star Wayne Gretzky becomes the fastest player in NHL history to reach 1,000 points for his career. 
The Oilers were hosting the Los Angeles Kings at the Northlands Coliseum and Gretzky came into the game with 999 points. Just a couple of minutes into the game, Gretzky fed a pass to linemate Mike Krushelnyski that he buried past Kings goaltender Darren Eliot. The assist was the 1,000th point of Gretzky’s career and he would go on to put up five more points in a 7-4 win for the Oilers.
“I think they’ll have to have an NHL yearbook just for Wayne. He’s a real scoring machine,” said Marcel Dionne. “Outside Wayne, most of the guys with 1,000 points took 15-16 years. Wayne will pass everybody. I have a special feeling to have played with them all except Beliveau and Henri Richard.”
“Wayne is just somebody who fights for excellence,” said Gordie Howe. “That goes for everything. I remember be used to shoot 95 on a golf course, then Sam Snead showed him a few things and the next thing you know, he wins a team competition with 78.”
“He’s the greatest offensive machine I’ve ever seen,” said Phil Esposito. How many points can he get? He’ll be the first player, if he plays long enough and doesn’t get hurt, who’ll get 2,000 points. If he plays as long as I did, 18 years, he’ll score 1,000 goals.”

Edmonton Journal Newspaper Clipping From December 20, 1984

Gretzky became the 17th player ever to score 1,000 points but did so much faster than anybody else before him. The first was Gordie Howe, who reached the mark in his 938th game in the NHL on Nov 27, 1960. Eight years later, Jean Beliveau set a new record by putting up his 1,000th point in his 911th game and then Bobby Hull edged out that one a couple of years later in his 909th game.
By the time Gretzky came around, the record of fastest NHLer to reach 1,000 points was Guy LaFleur, who did so in 720 games. The game between Edmonton and Los Angeles in which Gretzky joined the 1,000-point club was just the 424th game of his career.
Gretzky has a handful of NHL records that will very likely never be broken and reaching 1,000 points as quickly as he did is among them. The only player who’s come close is Mario Lemieux, who reached the mark in his 513th game on Mar 24, 1992. Connor McDavid is at 891 points with 595 games played and could become the third-fastest to join the club.

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