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Gretzky by the numbers before, after 'The Trade'

by John Kreiser

Wayne Gretzky put up offensive numbers the likes of which the NHL had never seen and hasn't since. A quarter-century after he was involved in the biggest trade in hockey history, a deal that sent him from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings, here's a look at some of the numbers Gretzky put together during his unparalleled career:

0 -- Goals scored by Gretzky in seven regular-season games at United Center in Chicago, the most games he played in any building without scoring a goal. He did have two goals there during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

1 -- Goals scored by Gretzky in 449 of his 1,487 NHL games. He scored two goals 129 times and had 50 games of three or more.

2 -- Points by Gretzky in six games at Corel Centre (now Canadian Tire Centre), his fewest at any arena in which he played more than twice. Gretzky had a pair of assists in his six road games against the Ottawa Senators.

3 – Regular-season games needed by Gretzky to score his first NHL goal. It came against Glen Hanlon of the Vancouver Canucks during a 4-4 tie in Edmonton on Oct. 14, 1979.

4 -- 200-point seasons by Gretzky, the only ones in NHL history. He had three of them in a row, beginning in 1983-84 and capped by his record 215 points in 1985-86, when Gretzky had at least one point in 77 of the Oilers' 80 games.

5 -- Penalty shots taken by Gretzky in the regular season. Amazingly, he scored on one of them, for Edmonton against Vancouver's Richard Brodeur on Jan. 19, 1983. Gretzky scored on his only penalty shot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, beating Don Beaupre of the Minnesota North Stars on April 28, 1984.

6 -- Assists by Gretzky in Edmonton's 13-3 victory against Los Angeles on April 9, 1987, matching Mikko Leinonen's record for most assists in a Stanley Cup Playoff game.

7 -- Assists by Gretzky in a regular-season game (on three occasions), equaling the mark set by Billy Taylor of the Detroit Red Wings against the Chicago Blackhawks in 1947. Gretzky set up seven goals in Edmonton's 8-2 home win against the Washington Capitals on Feb. 15, 1980, did it again at Chicago in a 12-9 victory on Dec. 11, 1985, and for a third time in an 8-2 home win against the Quebec Nordiques on Feb. 14, 1986.

8 -- Consecutive seasons in which Gretzky won the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP. He won from 1980-87 as a member of the Oilers, then won his ninth and final Hart Trophy in 1989, his first season after being traded to the Kings.

9 -- Goals scored by Gretzky with the New York Rangers in 1998-99, his last NHL season, by far the lowest single-season total of his career. He did have 53 assists (ninth in the League) for 62 points, also his lowest total in a full season.

10 -- Three-or-more-goal games by Gretzky in 1981-82 and in 1983-84, another NHL record.

12 -- Playoff goals scored by Gretzky against Mike Vernon of the Calgary Flames, the most he had against any goaltender.

13 -- Consecutive 100-point seasons for Gretzky, an NHL record. He also holds the mark for total 100-point seasons with 15. Gretzky broke the century mark in each of his first 13 seasons -- nine with the Oilers and four after being traded to the Kings -- until 1992-93, when injuries limited him to 45 games and 65 points.

29 -- Goals scored by Gretzky against Richard Brodeur, the most he had against any of the 155 goaltenders he beat at least once.

38 -- Goals scored by Gretzky at Winnipeg Arena, the most he had at any building in which he played solely as a visiting player.

39 -- Games needed by Gretzky to reach 50 goals in 1981-82, still the fewest by any player.

42 -- Arenas in which Gretzky scored at least one regular-season NHL goal. He had 10 or more goals in 18 buildings.

50 -- Games in which Gretzky scored three or more goals, an NHL record (10 more than Mario Lemieux, who's second). Gretzky had 37 three-goal games, nine four-goal games, and four games in which he scored five times.

51 -- Consecutive games in 1983-84 in which Gretzky had at least one point, an NHL record.

73 -- Shorthanded goals scored by Gretzky; not surprisingly, he leads in this category as well.

98 -- Gretzky's best single-season plus-minus rating, in 1984-85, when he led the NHL. It was the fourth of six consecutive seasons in which he was plus-60 or better. He finished his career plus-518.

157 -- Goals scored by Gretzky in December, the most he had in any month. He had 154 in November, 152 in January, 144 in March, 136 in February and 126 in October. Gretzky scored 25 goals in 72 regular-season games in April and did not score in two regular-season games played in May 1995.

266 -- Regular-season games (of 1,487 in his career) in which Gretzky failed to record a point. He was held without a goal in 848 games and without an assist 443 times.

369 -- Shots on goal by Gretzky in 1981-82, when he set the NHL record with 92 goals. It was the most shots he took in one season.

424 -- Career game in which Gretzky scored his 1,000th NHL point. The milestone came when he assisted on a goal in Edmonton's 7-3 win against Los Angeles on Dec. 19, 1984, a little more than a month before turning 24.

493 -- Goals scored by Gretzky in his 745 regular-season home games, including a League-record 59 in 1981-82. He had 401 goals in 742 road games, with a high of 43 in 1983-84.

970 -- Margin between Gretzky's regular-season point total and that of Mark Messier, who's No. 2 on the all-time scoring list. Gretzky had 2,857 points; longtime teammate Messier is next with 1,887. Gretzky has more assists (1,963) than any other NHL player has points.


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