Records are made to be broken – but these three NHL players have set the mark just a little too high. When these guys hit the ice at the beginning of their careers, they probably had no idea that they’d wind up in the record books. But their incredible records have stood for decades – and may even stand for all time.
The Incredible Wayne Gretzky
Few hockey players have enjoyed the instant recognition that Wayne Gretzky has over the course of his career. Known as “The Great One” since he was 10 years old, Gretzky surely lived up to his nickname. He basically made it his business to smash all the NHL records he could get his stick on.
One of those records – most points scored over a career – will likely never be topped. Gretzky sits atop the heap with a total of 2,857 points. The next guy in line, Mark Messier, racked up “only” 1,887 points over the course of his playing days – nearly a thousand less. The rest of the list trickles down from that point, but none come close to the high water mark Gretzky had set before he skated off the rink for the last time in 1999.
Hard Luck for Hainsworth’s Opponents
Goaltender George Hainsworth played in the NHL way back in the ’20s and ’30s – but one of the records he set during the 1928-1929 season still stands today. Hainsworth recorded an astounding 22 shutouts during that season, much to the dismay of his opponents.
While a few other players have come somewhat close, nobody has breached 22 shutouts since. In fact, the closest contender was Tony Esposito during the 1969-1970 NHL season, and he only reached 15; it’s a record he shares with three other good men who played during the ’20s.
Incidentally, Hainsworth also owns the third place spot in the record book, with 14 shutouts. It’s highly unlikely that another player will ever break his shutout record.
The Iron Man of Hockey
Doug Jarvis first hit the ice in 1975 for the Montreal Canadiens; he stepped down to the NHL minors in 1987. While a career of that length isn’t remarkable in itself, there is something unique about Jarvis’s professional playing career: He never missed a game. Not one.
Jarvis racked up 964 appearances over the course of his career. That’s a strong record to replicate. Garry Unger got closest with 914 appearances. Next on the list is Steve Larmer with 884 and Craig Ramsey with 776 – and these are still impressive accomplishments. The way life goes – with injuries, illnesses, and everything that comes with being human – surpassing Jarvis’s record will be nearly impossible.
Putting Those Records on Ice
Hockey players may come and go, but these standout players are in a league of their own. Their unbreakable NHL records are sure to stand the test of time.
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