When a sports legend holds a major record, it is rare that they want to see it broken. For many of these people, this is their post-career recognition. When they appear on TV, they are often listed with their records under their name. However, for a legend of the NHL like Wayne Gretzky, records are only part of his legend. It would take a total NHL newbie not to recognise Gretzky and his incredible accolades on and off the ice. So, when the former legend admitted that he wants to see one of his records broken, it was not a huge surprise.
Gretzky was asked about his thoughts for Alex Ovechkin breaking his record in the upcoming NHL season. As the record holder for goals in the NHL, Gretzky has always been regarded as one of the best, if not the best. So far, Ovechkin has a whopping 730 goals across a 16-year NHL career. Gretzky holds the record of 894, so the current legend has some way to go before he beats the all-time record.
However, Greztky himself has backed the player to go all the way and do it. Speaking at a teleconference ahead of the new season, Gretzky was quoted as saying: “Game One we get to see Washington and we get to see Alex try to chase down my record, which I hope he breaks. I’m really excited about getting the chance to watch him all the way through the year.”
Gretzky himself managed the achievement in 20 NHL seasons, so Ovechkin has around four years to go and make the most of it – if he can stay fit enough, that is. With Gretzky holding a ridiculous 61 records across the league, though, he can probably afford to lose one or two.
The legend will be an analyst for Turner Sports as an NHL expert this year. Turner Sports have taken on a seven-year agreement to show the NHL, and landing the biggest name in the sport is quite the coup as they look to build a star-studded line-up of analysts and experts.
Alongside Liam McHugh and Paul Bissonnette, the coverage looks to be pretty solid. They will all be watching to see one thing, though – if Ovechkin can finally break the record that Gretzky has held since he retired.
The record itself has stood for some time, and it would be a shock to see a record many thought would never be broken actually overtaken. For that reason, some fans are keen to see Gretzky retain his place as the all-time greatest scorer to go on the ice. While Ovechkin is a beloved member of the modern NHL family, few would contest that he can live up to the legend of Gretzky.
However, with so many records under his belt, it is pretty clear that Gretzky could probably afford to lose a few of them – even one as prestigious as the top-scoring title in the NHL.