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Arguably one of the biggest debates this generation has had in the hockey world is whether or not Ovechkin can break Gretzky’s all time goal scoring record. Ovi broke onto the scene in his rookie year with the Caps back in the 05-06 season and had 52 goals and 54 assists for a whopping 106 points in his ROOKIE YEAR. So clearly with that sort of rookie season the entire league was buzzing around the idea of whether or not he could beat the Great One’s record.
Fast forward to this year and the 33 year old doesn’t seem to have any Stanley Cup hangover, which is nothing short of a miracle after his summer bender. Ovi at the time of me writing this blog has 632 goals scored in his career putting him at 15th in all-time goals scored and 262 goals behind Gretzky’s record, which doesn’t seem “amazing”, but if he continues the goal scoring pace he is on this season, he should be able to leapfrog Brendan Shanahan or possibly even Luc Robitaille 13th and 12th respectively. Ovechkin is just under a goal per game this season with 25 goals in 30 games so far.
So with all this said, can he break Gretzky’s record? The Great One’s record is 894 goals scored all time that’s 93 more than the second place Gordie Howe. That seems like an unbreakable record, especially with how much the game has changed, but I’m here to argue that Ovechkin has the potential to do just that.
Gretzky played a total of 21 seasons in the NHL and Ovechkin is entering his 14th at just 33 years old. If Ovi plays for another 7 years, until he’s 40, all he has to do is average 39 goals per year. Now this number is going to change and it will probably change drastically because this season is still young and Ovi is on pace to score 68 goals this year! If Ovi can get a couple more 50-60 goal seasons while still in his prime, that brings his average down enormously for his last few years so that he only needs to score about 30 per year. Ovechkin in his 14 seasons has never scored less than 30 goals in a season, so to say he would need to average 39 goals per year as of right now is completely feasible.
Also add in the fact that Ovi has quite the different frame than Gretzky and has never really had injury issues. If Jaromir Jagr can play until 45, Ovi could realistically get to 42 or 43 which would almost make him a shoo-in to break Gretzky’s record.
Regardless if he does break the record or not, I don’t think anyone will deny what is arguably the most gifted goal scorer of our generation if not of all time. It’s going to be interesting to see exactly how it all plays out, and personally I’m a fan of these all-time records being broken.
December 13, 2018