NHL

Wayne Gretzky: Happy Birthday To the Best Athlete in the NHL or Any Sport Ever

1987:  Center Wayne Gretzky of the Edmonton Oilers looks on during a game against the Los Angeles Kings at the Forum in Inglewood, California. Mandatory Credit: ALLSPORT USA  /Allsport
Getty Images/Getty Images
Dickie GreenleafContributor IJanuary 20, 2011

It's Wayne Gretzky's 50th birthday this week and my gift to him is to, once and for all, prove that he is the best athlete to ever play any sport. It's actually quite easy. I could do it with just the next sentence.

If Wayne Gretzky never scored a goal, he'd still be the NHL's all-time leading points scorer.

Boom! Done. 

Gretzky had 1,963 assists in his career. 

  1. Wayne Gretzky—1,963 (assists only)
  2. Mark Messier—1,887 (goals + assists)
  3. Gordie Howe—1,850 (goals + assists)

If that isn't amazing enough, Wayne Gretzky scored the most goals of all-time, too—894!

Case closed. Game over. So, that makes it:

  • Wayne Gretzky—2,857 (goals + assists)

A whopping 970 more points than anyone ever! Absolute bananas. Just the extra 970 points is more than the career totals of:

  • Maurice Richard—965 (goals + assists) Hall of Fame
  • Chris Chelios—948 (goals + assists) And he played like 40 seasons. 
  • Bobby Orr—915 (goals + assists) Hall of Fame

If that wasn't enough:

  • Wayne Gretzky is the only player ever to score 200 points in a season—and he did it four times.
  • He won the MVP (Hart Memorial Trophy) eight years in a row. Nine times total.
  • His teams won the Stanley Cup four times. 
  • His jersey number, 99, is retired by every single team in the NHL
  • His list of achievements go on and on and on...
  • No steroids. No scandals. Just the most incredible athlete ever. 

Happy Birthday, Wayne Gretzky! You're still my favorite player.  I'm going to celebrate your birthday by playing as you on my vintage arcade game, "2 on 2 Open Ice Challenge"!

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