Wayne Gretzky Becomes First NHL Player to Break the 200-Point Mark
During the 1981–82 season, he surpassed a record that had stood for 35 years: 50 goals in 50 games.
Set by Maurice "Rocket" Richard during the 1944–45 NHL season and tied by Mike Bossy during the 1980–81 NHL season, Gretzky accomplished the feat in only 39 games. His 50th goal of the season came on December 30, 1981 in the final seconds of a 7–5 win against the Philadelphia Flyers and was his fifth of the game. Later that season, Gretzky broke Esposito's record for most goals in a season (76) on February 24, 1982, scoring three goals to help beat the Buffalo Sabres 6–3. He ended the 1981–82 season with records of 92 goals, 120 assists, and 212 points in 80 games, becoming the first and only player in NHL history to break the 200–point mark.
He is the only player ever to total over 200 points in a season (a feat that he accomplished four times in his career). In addition, he tallied over 100 points a season for 15 NHL seasons, 13 of them consecutively. He is the only player to have his number, 99, officially retired by the National Hockey League for all teams – no player in the NHL will ever again wear the number 99.
He has marked the book of records with a red hot iron by modifying many of them. Among the most impressive ones, the 215 points in a season with the Edmonton Oilers (1985-86) is an incredible achievement. "I think 163 assists in a season will be hard to beat. That and 215 points in a season", said Gretzky apropos of his two records. He has also been able to accumulate more than 200 points during four different seasons. The only other player who came close to this mythical mark is Mario Lemieux, also a legend of hockey (199 points with Pittsburgh in 1988-89). Whereas a third player (Steve Yzerman, 155 points with Detroit in 1988-89) is at the skyline of Gretzky's performance.