Today is Wayne Gretzky's Birthday. He is 48.
He is everyone's hero in Hockey. When someone asks you who your favorite hockey player is, they really want to know who your 2nd favorite is. They assume you are smart enough to know that Gretzky's is everyone's #1.
Sorry. It is true.
In honor of his birthday, please enjoy two of the most wonderful links that you can kill some time with:
First, Read all about the 61 records that he holds ....yes, that is right. 61.
And then, here is the NHL.com Gretzky page ...that includes 99 reasons why 99 is the greatest....
Here is a bit of it:
* Gretzky wins his first of eight consecutive Hart Trophies in 1979-80 as the MVP of the League.
* With the 51 goals in 1979-80, Gretzky becomes the youngest player (19 years, two months) to score 50 goals in a single season.
* Sets an NHL record for most assists in one game by a first-year player, with seven on Feb. 15 vs. Washington.
* On Dec. 30, 1981 against Philadelphia, Gretzky scores his 50th goal in an unimaginable 39 games. The previous mark was 50 goals in 50 games by Maurice Richard and Mike Bossy.
* Captures his second League scoring title in 1981-82 after becoming the first player in NHL history to record over 200 points, collecting 212.
* Sets an NHL record for most goals in one season with 92 in 1981-82, breaking Phil Esposito’s record of 76, set with Boston in 1970-71.
* Breaks his own mark of most assists in a single season with 120 in 1981-82.
* Nets 10 hat tricks in 1981-82 to garner yet another record.
* Surpasses his own mark for most assists in a single season with 125 in 1982-83.
* Sets NHL Stanley Cup Playoff records during the 1983 postseason with 26 assists and 38 points.
* Establishes a new record by notching at least one point in 51 consecutive games, tallying 61 goals and 92 assists for 153 points during the streak in 1983-84. The next longest streak is held by Mario Lemieux, who had a 46-game scoring streak in which he scored 39 goals and 103 points.
* During the 1983-84 regular season and playoffs, Gretzky scores a combined 100 goals (87 regulars season, 13 playoffs).
* Sets an NHL record with 12 shorthanded goals and ties his own mark with 10 hat tricks during the 1983-84 season.
It is really exhausting just to read all of it.
Byron said it best in an email to me last week:
RE: Hat tricks; I think the Stars will end with 6. That’s right 1 more in 40 games, because I believe they will make some changes that focus on defense via trade.
You also brought up Wayne Gretzky. This might not be the place, but what amazed me about him was when Messier moved into 2nd place all time in points, he was around 900 points behind “The Great One.” 900 points in the NHL by itself is a fantastic career. To think that some of those 50 hat tricks he had, he scored more than 3. I know he had 5 in a game at least once.. So its conceivable when you add assists, he could have had more than 200 points in those 50 games. Unbelievable. 200 NHL points for a career is better than you and I will ever have.
Wow. Let that soak in.
Happy Birthday, O Great One.