This Day In Sports History (February 29th) — Gordie Howe

gordie howeIt was on this day in 1980 that Gordie Howe became the first NHLer to ever score 800 career goals.  Howe would finished his career with a total of 801 goals.

That would stand as the highest career total for an NHL players until the 1993-94 season, when it was broken by Wayne Gretzky.  “The Great One” would go on to record a total of 894 goals over the course of his career, a record that will likely never be touched.  Howe remains second on that list, 60 ahead of Brett Hall’s 741 career goals.

While it appears as though no one will ever reach Gretzky’s 894 career goals, it also appears very unlikely that anyone will ever surpass Howe’s total of 801.  That would require a player to average over 40 goals per season for 20 straight seasons.  Alex Ovechkin appeared to be a solid candidate to reach that mark after averaging 53.8 goals per season over the course of his first five seasons in the NHL, but he has stumbled over the past few seasons, scoring just 32 goals last year and sitting on just 26 goals this season with only 19 games remaining for the Caps.  Another candidate to reach Howe’s mark is Steven Stamkos, who recorded 51 and 45 goals in each of the last two seasons, and he appears destined to reach the 50-goal mark once again this season.  However, he will have to maintain this pace and avoid injury if he hopes to pass the 800-goal mark at some point in his career.  That will not be an easy feat to accomplish.

Here is a look at Howe receiving a standing ovation at the 1980 All-Star Game.

Notable Birthdays

Cam Ward, NHL –  Born on February 29, 1984 (age 28) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Simon Gagne, NHL – Born on February 29, 1980 (age 32) in Sainte-Foy, Quebec

Henri “Pocket Rocket” Richard, NHL – Born on February 29, 1936 (age 76) in Montreal, Quebec

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