15 NHL Records That Will Never Be Broken
Examining Records That Are Impossible To Break
Since the NHL began exclusively playing for the Stanley Cup all the way back in 1926, the game of hockey has undergone vast expansion and an explosion in marketing. Until the 1967-68 season, the league only had a mere six teams, which has rapidly grown over the last 45 years to now include a massive 30 teams spread across the United States and Canada. Right around the time of this expansion, the league began to get its first exposure on American televisions, and as a result, the names and brand of individual players and teams became much more recognizable.
As the league has expanded and grown in marketing level throughout time, so has the prominence of its star teams and players. From Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky in past times to Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin today, there has always been a keen eye from fans on those that both make electrifying plays and light up the scoreboard.
Aside from absolutely astounding talent and the ability to light up the scoreboard, what separates star players from their peers is an ability to perform at a prolific level that leaves a mark on the history books. Given the fact that the league still hands out the same Stanley Cup trophy that was around in 1926, it is clear that history is a huge part of the game, and part of this is that there are some records that have and will stand the test of time.
With this historical outlook in mind, we have decided to take a peak back into the history books by identifying the 15 NHL records that will never be broken. Many of these laws have stood the test of time, and are such incredible feats that they will never again be topped in league history.
15. Darryl Sittler - Ten Points In One Game
On Feb. 7, 1976, Toronto Maple Leafs center Darryl Sittler had the game of a lifetime, when he scored six goals and recorded four assists for a record 10 points in the team's 11-4 victory over the Boston Bruins. This would be a great month for most players, and when it is considered that no other player has even recorded nine points in one game, it can be established that Sittler has a record on his hands that will never be broken.
14. Glenn Hall - 502 Straight Games In Goal
From 1955 to 1962, Glenn Hall did not take a night off, suiting up for 502-straight games in goal for the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks. During this reign of consistency, Hall was also extremely effective, as he won the Calder Memorial Trophy, a Stanley Cup and appeared in six straight All-Star games. Ultimately, this reign of dominance came to a brief end on Nov. 7, 1962, as the goaltender suffered a back injury; although with goaltenders now taking nights off routinely, there is no doubt this record will never be broken.
13. Joe Malone - Seven Goals In One Game
When Joe Malone scored seven goals for the now-defunct Hamilton Tigers on Jan. 31, 1920, there were likely very few people who believed he had established a record that would still be standing 93 years later. Throughout time, many have attempted to challenge the record, but ultimately all have fallen short, with Sittler coming closest with six goals in one game.
12. Bill Mosienko - Three Goals In 21 Seconds
While Sittler and Malone compiled incredible goal achievements over a prolonged period of time, Chicago Blackhawks forward Bill Mosienko compiled a record of his own in short order. With Chicago trailing in the third period, Mosienko made it a personal mission to spark a comeback, as he scored three goals in a mere 21 seconds to spark a comeback win over the New York Rangers. With scoring levels seemingly going down with every year in the NHL, it appears that Mosienko's record has little chance of being topped.
11. Wayne Gretzky - 92 Goals In One Season
Throughout his legendary career Wayne Gretzky set over 60 records, but of these, a few stand out from the rest. One of these is the 92 goals scored in the 1981-82 season, which would be a good total over three seasons for an All-Star level player in today's NHL. Over time, even snipers such as Alexander Ovechkin, Maurice Richard and Brett Hull have found this record impossible to top, as Hull ranks second on the list at 86 goals in 1990-91.
10. Gordie Howe - 1767 Career Games Played
In an NHL career that encompassed five separate decades, Gordie Howe became as well renowned for his actual skill as the fact that he was able to continue playing professional hockey until the age of 52. Over this prolonged period of time, Howe appeared in 1,767 games at the NHL level for the Detroit Red Wings and Hartford Whalers, establishing a level of longevity that will be nearly impossible to best.
9. Grant Fuhr - 79 Games Played In One Season By Goalie
While Glenn Hall appeared in a massive 502-straight games, he only had to play in 70 each year, while the NHL had moved to 82 games by the time Grant Fuhr started playing. During the 1995-96 season, Fuhr put on his best Hall impersonation for the St. Louis Blues, as he appeared in 79 of the team's 82 games. This set a record that has yet to be tied or upped, and although Ryan Miller, Roberto Luongo, Martin Brodeur, Arturs Irbe and Evgeni Nabakov have all compiled more than 75 games since 1996, still none was given the opportunity to set it, and with many teams moving toward a system that is heavily reliant on utilizing their second goaltender, it appears no one else will make a challenge in the near future.
8. Dave "Tiger" Williams - 3966 Career Penalty Minutes
In terms of fighters and chippy players, there were none that came in quite the same package as Dave "Tiger" Williams, as from 1974 to 1988 he compiled a record 3,966 penalty minutes. Williams was able to do this by compiling a record 294 penalty minutes or more an incredible nine times, and helped him average a ridiculous 4.12 penalty minutes per game over a 962-game career. While the fighting presence is still important in the NHL, the league is beginning to move away from a dependence on these players and therefore, it is doubtful that any player could ever come close to 3,966 penalty minutes ever again.
7. Wayne Gretzky - 163 Assists In One Season
"The Great One" is a familiar face in the record books, and possibly no more so than on the top single season assist totals. He compiled 11 of the top 12 seasons in this category, including a record 163 assists in 1985-86 for the Edmonton Oilers. When one considers that no player has even recorded 163 points or more since Gretzky did so during the 1990-91 season for the Los Angeles Kings, it is safe to say this record is going nowhere.
6. Martin Brodeur - 676 Career Wins
When it comes to a discussion of the best goaltender of all time, the discussion is nearly always centered around Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy. And as one would expect, the two rank at the top of the career wins list, with Brodeur taking up the top spot with 676 wins and counting. Considering that Roy is the only other goalie in league history with over 500 wins -- he has 551 career wins -- there is no doubting that this record is in safe hands.
5. Bobby Orr - +124 Plus/Minus In One Season
Some people are not very fond of the plus/minus statistic, but when you compile one as astounding as the +124 Bobby Orr picked up during the 1970-71 season with the Boston Bruins, it is impossible to ignore. This statistic was indicative of an incredible year for Orr, as he set NHL records for most assists and points by a defenseman during the same season. This combination of success has never been matched, and considering that Larry Robinson is the only other player to compile a +100 season or better, it is clear his record will last the test of time.
4. Larry Robinson - +730 Career Plus/Minus
While Larry Robinson was not able to compile the best plus/minus in a single season, he takes the cake in the career total, and by a longshot. The Hall of Fame defenseman compiled a career +730 plus/minus, with each of his 20 seasons ending in positive territory. Next up on the list is Orr at +597, which is a mountain away and leaves this record out of touch for anyone in today's NHL.
3. Wayne Gretzky - 215 Points In One Season
In continuation with the horde of Gretzky accomplishments that will never be topped comes the record 215 point total that he compiled during the 1985-1986 season. And much as his other accomplishments come with little competition, so does this record. Gretzky holds nine of the eleven highest single season point totals, and nobody in the last 15 years has even approached 200 points, keeping this record safe, to say the least.
2. Dave Schultz - 472 Penalty Minutes In One Season
Dave Schultz was a main tenant of the Philadelphia Flyers teams in the early 1970s that became known as the Broad Street Bullies, and when looking at his 472 penalty minutes in the 1974-75 season, this nickname begins to make a lot of sense. This total ranks 63 penalty minutes ahead of second place Paul Baxter, and 237 in front of Derek Dorsett's league leading 235 penalty minutes in 2011-12. When this relatively small point total from Dorsett is considered as a recent barometer of single season penalty minute leaders, it is extremely obvious that Schultz has a somewhat dubious record to keep.
1. Wayne Gretzky - 2857 Career Points
How else could we cap this list off other than with a Wayne Gretzky record? "The Great One" compiled a ridiculous total of 2,857 career points, which equates to 142.85 points per season over a 20-year period. To put this into perspective, no player since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96 has compiled more than 142 points in a single season. Additionally, Mark Messier ranks an eye-popping 970 points behind Gretzky on the career list, and the closest active player is Jaromir Jagr, who sits 1,152 points away from 2,857. It can be said with a serious face that pigs will fly before this record is broken.