If Ovechkin breaks the goal record, the NHL should retire his number league wide quickly after retirement
Washington Capitals Captain Alex Ovechkin sits at 800 goals and is one goal away from being number two all time in goals. Ovechkin is on pace to break Wayne Gretzky’s record for the most goals by a single player in NHL history. Gretzky had 894 regular season goals in his career and 2,857 points.
Gretzky is the only NHL player to have his number retired league wide and did play for four different teams. Gretzky later went on to be the head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes and now is broadcasting. So Gretzky was involved in many different organizations and was a great ambassador for the sport of hockey..
Ovechkin has played for one team but is a fan favorite mostly league wide. When Ovechkin scored his 800th goal in Chicago the Blackhawks organization honored him on the jumbotron and Blackhawks fans cheered for him. It was a classy move and shows how well respected Ovechkin is league wide.
Ovechkin like Gretzky is also a great ambassador for the NHL. Ovechkin served as the NHL’s ambassador to China in 2019, and will be the Ambassador to the Special Olympics World Winter Games in 2022 in Kazan. Ovechkin has put in time and effort to promote and coach the game of hockey around the world.
Ovechkin’s list of accomplishments are a separate story by itself, the three-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner (league MVP), nine time Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy (Leading goal scorer) and Stanley Cup Champion are just naming a few. Those accomplishments alone would be enough to make Ovechkin a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
The fact is, Ovechkin is more the a generational player, he is a once in a lifetime player. Ovechkin has stayed healthy throughout his career, been player on and off the field and has represented the league well. Ovechkin has been very involved in the DMV community ever since being drafted.
If Ovechkin breaks Gretzky’s record on the road I predict that the celebration and cheers will be loud. Ovechkin breaking Gretzky’s record will be one of the great accomplishment’s in sports. It will be praised like when Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games played record. If/When Ovechkin does break Gretzky’s record it will be a great moment in NHL history.
Ovechkin will likely break Gretzky’s record despite missing one and a half seasons due to lockout, and about half a season for the Covid-19 shortened season. If Ovechkin got to play in all those missed games he may be pushing Gretzky’s record this season.
Regardless, when Ovechkin does retire and if he breaks Gretzky’s record I think the NHL should quickly make his number eight retired league wide. Maybe it would have to wait until tensions with Russia become more peaceful but who can predict the world three to five years down the line. Ovechkin has been nothing but great for the NHL and should be honored as such. It would also be pure joy to see the Capitals rival Pittsburgh Penguins have to retire Ovechkin’s number up in their rafters.
Now enjoy some Ovechkin highlights.