Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin have been rivals throughout their careers on the ice, but the Pittsburgh Penguins star is rooting for his Washington Capitals counterpart to make history.
"I hope he does," Crosby said when discussing the possibility of Ovechkin breaking Wayne Gretzky's career scoring record of 894 goals, per Greg Wyshyski of ESPN. "I told him today that I hope he does. It would be awesome. He's in range."
Ovechkin has 730 goals in his career.
The Capitals star turns 36 years old Friday, but he figures to anchor Washington's attack for the foreseeable future after signing a five-year extension with the only NHL team he has ever known this offseason.
"I don't even think about it right now, to be honest," Ovechkin said of the record. "Because it's too far. It's a long way. And it's a hard way. Whatever happens, happens."
Ovechkin is 164 goals away from the record and is coming off a 24-goal season in 2020-21. It would take him nearly seven seasons to reach the mark at that pace, but he also played just 45 games and led the league in goals the previous three years.
In fact, he has led the league in goals nine different times in his career and averaged 49.33 goals per game from 2017-18 through 2019-20. At that pace, it would take fewer than four seasons to break the Great One's record.
While Gretzky is widely regarded as the best NHL player in history, Ovechkin has quite the resume himself.
He is a Stanley Cup champion who has won the Hart Memorial Trophy three times, won the Ted Lindsay Award three times and been named to the All-Star Game seven times. Going down as the NHL's best all-time goal scorer is also in play if he continues to find the back of the net like he has throughout his career.
Washington starts its season Oct. 13 against the New York Rangers.