Marquist Parker Sports Editor
On March 21, 1994, NHL legend Wayne Gretzky tied Gordie Howe’s National Hockey League (NHL) record 801 goals. Arguably hockey’s greatest player, Wayne Gretzky played for the Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and the New York Rangers during his long career. In the fall of 1979, Gretzky embarked on his first full NHL season. As he had at every other level, he quickly started to dominate the competition, racking up an astonishing 51 goals and 86 assists, on his way to winning the league’s Hart Memorial Trophy, an award recognizing its most valuable player. It was the first time a first-year player had ever been honored with the award.
Soon enough, Edmonton came to be a championship juggernaut. With Gretzky leading the way, the Oilers finished as Stanley Cup champions in 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1988. As his team won, Gretzky blazed through the record books by posting unfathomable numbers. In 1982, he cracked the 200-point barrier for the first time, setting a single-season record with 92 goals, while also collecting 120 assists. His finest year may have been 1986, a season in which he totaled 52 goals and an NHL single-season record, 163 assists.