Monday, March 29, 2010

1998-99 New York Rangers Wayne Gretzky Jersey

As we research topics for Third String Goalie, we come across factiods relating to Wayne Gretzky on a near daily basis. Milestones reached, multiple point games, season records set, career records set, league records broken. At first it became an annoyance with our desire for a variety of topics for this website and we shunned them. Eventually, as the items relating to Gretzky continued to amount unabated we began to come around and appreciate the consistency and sheer volume of the incredible feats the man accomplished during his career.

Eventually we embraced them to the point that we decided to collect them, and created a repository for them, The Wayne Gretzky Fact of the Day Blog, which we hope you will take a moment to visit.

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But as much as we have tried to avoid choosing Gretzky as a topic too frequently, today is one occasion where it's unavoidable and well deserved, for on today March 29th, the Gretzky facts just kept on coming.

It begins on this date in 1980, when during his first season in the NHL, Gretzky scored two goals and four assists for a six point night as the Edmonton Oilers beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 8-5.

One year to the day later, Gretzky made NHL history when he broke Phil Esposito's NHL record for Most Points in a Season of 152 when his three assists gave him 153 for the season on his way to setting the bar at 164 points.

Again on March 29th, this time in 1983, Gretkzy posted three assists to break his own NHL record for most assists in a season at 121. He would conclude that season with a new record total of 125.

Two years later, again on the 29th of March, Gretzky would break his own assist record with two assists to raise the mark to 127. His final total for the season and the new record amount would stand at 135.

The final milestone Gretzky would achieve on March 29th would be scoring the final goal of his NHL career. That goal was also his 1,072nd all-time goal, counting the NHL regular season and playoffs plus the WHA regular season and playoffs, which allowed him to surpass Gordie Howe's career total of 1071 all-time goals.

Wayne Gretzky Final Goal
Gretzky poses with his record setting puck

In 6 WHA seasons Howe had 174 regular season goals and 28 playoff goals plus the 801 regular season and 68 playoff goals he scored in his 26 seasons in the NHL for a total of 1071.

Gretzky only played in the WHA for one season, scoring 46 regular season goals and 10 playoff goals. His record setting 894 regular season goals plus his 122 playoff goals, also the all-time record, pushed his career total past Howe by just a single one, the goal he scored on this date in 1999.

Wayne Gretzky Final Goal
Gretzky celebrates his final goal, his 1072nd all-time

In addition to the All-Time Combined Goals record, Gretzky also holds many other goal scoring records including;

Career Records
  • Most Career NHL Regular Season Goals - 894
  • Most Career NHL Goals Including Playoffs - 1,016
  • Most Career NHL Goals by a Center - 894
  • Most 40-or-More Goal Seasons - 12
  • Most Consecutive 40-or-More Goal Seasons - 12
  • Most 50-or-More Goal Seasons - 9
  • Most 60-or-More Goal Seasons - 5
  • Most Consecutive 60-or-More Goal Seasons - 4
  • Most Three-or-More Goal Games - 50

Single Season Records
  • Most Goals in a Season - 92
  • Most Goals in a Season Including Playoffs - 100
  • Most Goals 50 Games From the Start of a Season - 61
  • Most Goals by a Center in a Season - 92
  • Most Three-or-More Goal Games in a Season - 10
  • Highest Goals-Per-Game Average in a Season - 1.18

Single Game Record
  • Most Goals in One Period - 4

Career Playoff Records
  • Most Playoff Goals - 122
  • Most Game-Winning Playoff Goals - 24
  • Most Three-or-More Goal Games in Playoffs - 10

Single Season Playoff Record
  • Most Shorthanded Goals - one Playoff Year - 3

Single Game Playoff Record
  • Most Shorthanded Goals - one Playoff Game - 2
Today's featured jersey is a Starter 1998-99 New York Rangers Wayne Gretzky jersey as worn on the date he broke Howe's all time goal scoring record with his 1,072nd goal, the final goal of his storied career.

Wayne Gretzky Final Goal
The Madison Square Garden scoreboard celebrates Gretzky passing Howe's total

A unique feature of this jersey is the "double-tagging" on the lower back of the jersey. Gretzky had a habit of tucking the right side of his jersey into his breezers, which had the effect of hiding the manufacturer logo customarily located on the back, bottom right of NHL jerseys since the first ones appeared in 1979-80 according to NHLUniforms.com.

Frustrated by having their logos obscured and missing out on the free publicity of being associated with Gretzky, manufacturers started placing their logo also on the left side of jerseys intended for Gretzky's use to ensure their visibility in association with "The Great One."

New York Rangers G 96-99 F
New York Rangers G 96-99 B

Today's video is a countdown of the Top 10 Wayne Gretzky moments.


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