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Revisiting Gretzky's 802nd

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

Wayne Gretzky broke what is arguably the NHL’s greatest record 22 years ago today at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, surpassing Gordie Howe to become the game’s greatest all-time goal scorer.

In the Kings’ bout with the Vancouver Canucks on March 23, 1994, Gretzky rewrote the league’s record books at the 14:47 mark of the second period when he took a cross-ice pass from Marty McSorley and scored the 802nd goal of his NHL career.

A 15-minute ceremony was held immediately following the goal, which included Gretzky’s parents, his wife, commissioner Gary Bettman, and then-owner Bruce McNall.

It took Gretzky 15 seasons to surpass Gordie Howe’s 801-goal mark, a total Howe played 26 seasons to accumulate. Ironically, Gretzky wore #99 throughout his career to honor his childhood idol, Howe, who wore #9.

Retiring in 1999, Gretzky would finish his career with 894 goals, while holding or sharing more than 60 NHL records.

With no social media outlets available for instant viewing of Gretzky’s record-setting feat back in 1994, an audio clip of Nick Nickson’s radio call of the goal was available to those who called the LA Times Link and dialed extension KING (5464).

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