A numerical look at 1,000-point scorers
Fifty-two years ago today, Nov. 27, 1960, Gordie Howe went where no NHL player had gone before.
Howe entered the Detroit Red Wings' game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Olympia needing one point to become the first NHL player to record 1,000 regular-season points. He needed 6:36 to get it -- Howe assisted on a goal by Fred Glover that gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead in a game they went on to win 2-0.
Howe's 1,000th point came in his 938th NHL game. He went on to add 850 points (including an assist on the Red Wings' other goal that night) and finished his NHL career 20 years later with 1,850 points, a total later passed by Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier.
Since that night, 78 players have joined Howe as a 1,000-point scorer. Here's a numerical look at one of the NHL's most elite groups:
0 -- Number of 100-point seasons for Howe before he reached 1,000 points. Howe's only 100-point season in the NHL came in 1968-69, eight years after he passed the 1,000-point mark.
1 -- Players who scored their 1,000th point on Feb. 29, which occurs once every four years. Boston Bruins defenseman Ray Bourque reached the milestone on Leap Day, 1992.
2 -- Players who needed more than 1,300 games to reach the 1,000-point mark. Dale Hunter got his 1,000th point on Jan. 9, 1998, in his 1,308th game. That was the record until Nicklas Lidstrom scored his 1,000th point in his 1,336th game on Oct. 15, 2009.
3 -- Members of the Washington Capitals to reach the 1,000-point mark during the 1997-98 season, the only time that’s happened. Adam Oates, Phil Housley and Hunter all scored his 1,000th point in '97-98. Two teams -- the 1995-96 Maple Leafs and 2010-11 Ottawa Senators -- had two players reach 1,000 points in the same season.
4 -- Players, including Howe, among the first seven to reach the 1,000-point mark who wore No. 9 when they reached the milestone. In addition to Howe, Bobby Hull (Chicago), Norm Ullman (Toronto) and Johnny Bucyk (Boston) were wearing No. 9 when they reached 1,000 points.
5 -- Scoring titles won by Howe on the way to 1,000 points. He won the Art Ross Trophy four seasons in a row from 1950-51 through 1953-54, then captured it again with 89 points in 1956-57.
6 -- Players who scored their 1,000th point during 1997-98, the most of any season. Five players reached the milestone in 1990-91.
7 -- Players, including Howe, who reached 1,000 points while playing for the Detroit Red Wings, the most of any franchise. Toronto is next with six. Howe's longtime linemate, Alex Delvecchio, became the third member of the 1,000-point club in 1969.
7+ -- Seasons after Howe reached the 1,000-point mark until another player got there. Jean Beliveau of the Montreal Canadiens became the second 1,000-point scorer in NHL history when he scored a goal against Detroit on March 3, 1968. Beliveau reached 1,000 points in his 911th game, 27 fewer than Howe.
8 -- Defensemen who were 1,000-point scorers. Denis Potvin of the New York Islanders was the first defenseman to reach 1,000 points; newly retired Lidstrom was the most recent.
9 -- Players, including Howe, who scored their 1,000th point in November, the fewest of any full month on the schedule. March has the most with 16 players, followed by January (15) and February (14).
10 -- European-born and trained players who have reached the 1,000-point mark. That group includes three Russians, three Swedes, two Finns and two players born in Czechoslovakia; it doesn't include Stan Mikita, who was born in Czechoslovakia but learned his hockey in Canada.
11 -- Players, including Howe, who would be members of the 1,000-point club even if they hadn't scored a goal. Of the 11, only Howe played before expansion.
15 -- Seasons since Howe's milestone in which no player has scored his 1,000th point. The most recent was 2007-08; before that, at least one player reached 1,000 points in every season since 1996-97.
16 -- Players who scored 1,000 or more points in their career while playing for only one franchise. Detroit has the most with three (Delvecchio, Lidstrom and Steve Yzerman); Howe would have been the fourth had he not returned to the NHL in 1979-80 and played a season with the Hartford Whalers.
23 -- Franchises that have had a player score his 1,000th point. Including three franchises that have changed cities, 26 teams have celebrated a player reaching the 1,000-point mark.
32 -- Howe's age when he reached 1,000 points. The next two players to reach 1,000 points were 36 (Beliveau) and 38 (Delvecchio).
52 -- Players who scored their 1,000th point in fewer than 1,000 career games; Howe was the first. Dave Andreychuk came the closest to scoring 1,000 points in 1,000 games -- he reached the milestone in career game No. 998.
72 -- Total points for Howe, including the assist that became his 1,000th point, in 1960-61. He finished fifth in the NHL scoring race, the 12th of 20 consecutive seasons in which he ended up in the top five.
365 -- Days after Howe became the NHL's first 1,000-point scorer that he became the first player in League history to play in 1,000 games. That occurred on Nov. 26, 1961, when he took the ice for Detroit in Chicago.
424 -- Number of games needed by Wayne Gretzky to score his first 1,000 points, by far the fewest of any player. Gretzky needed 433 more games to score his second 1,000 points. After Gretzky, Mario Lemieux was the next-fastest to 1,000 at 513 games.
451 -- Goals scored by Howe among his first 1,000 points, to go with 549 assists. He went on to score 801 goals in his NHL career, along with 1,049 assists.