On today’s date in 1989, Los Angeles Kings forward Wayne Gretzky netted two goals and an assist, passing Gordie Howe as the NHL’s all-time leading scorer with 1,851 career points.
Howe’s record was amassed throughout the 1,767 games of his career; however, Gretzky only needed half this time – 780 games – to surpass it.
‘THE GREAT ONE’
In 2011, the Royal Canadian Mint honoured Gretzky’s legacy with a series of coins.
The first was a $200 22-karat gold coin featuring a uniformed Gretzky blazing down the ice, sporting Canada’s maple leaf and his signature No. 99 jersey. His iconic number is laser engraved on the coin, where it’s positioned beneath a cameo of his proud father. Limited to a mintage of only 999 coins, this coin sold for $1,299.99.
This same design was used for a $25 Fine silver coin, which displays Gretzky’s No. 99 with a colourful hologram. Limited to total mintage of 19,999 pieces, this coin sold for $99.99.
The third coin—a 25-cent gold-plated piece—featured Gretzky in the blue-and-orange colours of the team he led to four Stanley Cup victories in only five years: the Edmonton Oilers. The copper-plated steel coin, finished with a layer of gold, was packaged in a holder detailing The Great One’s prolific career.
A portion of the sales was donated to the Wayne Gretzky Foundation, whose mission is to provide less-fortunate youth with the opportunity to experience the sport of hockey.
In total, Gretzky holds 40 regular season, 15 playoff and six All-Star records; these include most career regular season goals (894), assists (1,963), points (2,857), and hat tricks (50) as well as most playoff goals (122), assists (260) and points (382).