Wayne Gretzky, in full Wayne Douglas Gretzky, nicknamed The Great One (born January 26, 1961, Brantford, Ontario, Canada), Canadian ice hockey player, considered by many to be the greatest player in National Hockey League (NHL) history. Arguably the greatest hockey player, Wayne Gretzky played for the Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, and the New York Rangers over his lengthy career. The only player in NHL history to score 200 points in a season, Wayne Gretzky accomplished this feat on a special four occasions throughout his career.
By the time he finished playing in Edmonton, Gretzky had held or shared 49 NHL records. Early in the 1989-90 season, Wayne Gretzky broke Gordie Howe’s NHL scoring record of 1,850 points (total goals and assists), and later in 1993-94, they broke Howe’s record of goals scored in one season (801). In total, Wayne Gretzky holds or shares 61 NHL records, including the most career goals (894), most career assists (1,963), and the most career points (2,857). One of the many notable facts of his career is that he would still lead NHL scorers solely based on assists.
The Great One is the greatest NHLer ever, as he did so much growing up, won many awards for his statistics, and played for many teams he helped make successful. It is also fun to think about how some of today’s best NHL players are shy of 20, which is how old his career was. The best way to compare the best players in today’s NHL with Gretzky is by analysing their statistics by season against those of Wayne Gretzky.
Gretzky boasts of 20 years of playing hockey and has 60 NHL records to his name. As an oddball, or sports god, by nature, Gretzky spent his time as a professional NHLer earning every superlative designation in the book. In the NHL, the NBA, the NFL, and Major League Baseball, no single athlete has ever won more than four consecutive titles. Yet, it’s not only those records that made the man the greatest hockey player of all time; it’s the fact that he outscored all others by an overwhelming margin.
Gretzky possessed incredible physical endurance despite his lack of strength. Like his hero Gordie Howe, Gretzky had “an amazing aptitude to recharge his energy supplies fast.” When an exercise physiologist assessed the restorative powers of the whole Edmonton Oilers team in 1980, Gretzky scored so high that the tester “thought the equipment had failed.” Gretzky’s endurance is further demonstrated by the fact that he frequently scored late in the game.
Take away Gretzky’s 894 goals, and his 1,963 assists alone still stand as the most points in National Hockey League history, or 76 more than Mark Messier, who has accumulated 1,887. Gretzky’s all-time mark, 2,857 points, is safe, even in a modern-day NHL that has done its best goaltenders to make play more wide-open.