Throwback to 1994… Wayne Gretzky becomes NHL’s all-time leading goal scorer
By Cam Lewis8 months ago
On this day in 1994, Wayne Gretzky scored the 802nd goal of his career and became the NHL’s all-time leading goal scorer in the process.
Gordie Howe, Gretzky’s idol growing up, previously held the record with 801 goals scored over a career that spanned 1,767 games in the NHL. Gretzky’s 802nd goal came in his 1,117th game.
The goal was scored at 14:47 of the second period in a game between the L.A. Kings and the Vancouver Canucks. Gretzky carried the puck into Vancouver’s zone and dished it off to Marty McSorley, Canucks goaltender Kirk McLean followed the puck, and McSorley passed it back to Gretzky with a wide-open net.
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Following the goal, the game was stopped for a 15-minute on-ice ceremony with Gretzky’s parents, Walter and Phyllis, his wife Janet, as well as King owner Bruce McNall and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Gretzky gave a speed to the fans at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles and thanked Canucks head coach and general manager Pat Quinn for allowing them to have the ceremony during the game.
Howe himself wasn’t in attendance. A few years earlier, Gretzky tied and broke Howe’s all-time NHL scoring record of 1,850 during a Kings win over the Oilers in Edmonton. Gretzky’s 1,851st point came on a goal with under one minute to play in the third period and the game was stopped for an on-ice ceremony that featured speeches from both Gretzky and Howe.
Gretzky played five more seasons in the NHL before retiring with 894 goals in his career. It appears that record will soon be passed by Alexander Ovechkin, who has 820 goals at the time of writing.
Back in January, Gretzky said that Ovechkin breaking his goal record was good for the sport…
“I think we’re past the point of if he’s going to do it. We said a year ago that it’s a matter of when he’s going to do it. So, it’s great for the game. It’s a positive and I think that it couldn’t happen to a better person. He’s been great for our sport.”
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