The NHL’s 50-Goal Scorers – 10 Things You Need to Know

*This was final up to date in Aug. 2021

After seasons of low scoring, the 2021-22 and 2022-23 NHL seasons introduced again a rejuvenation of targets. In 2021-22, 4 gamers hit the 50-aim mark. Meanwhile, in 2022-23, 5 did it. The 5 who reached the mark in 2022-23 have been probably the most since 2005-06 and you’ve got to return to 1995-96 to discover a season when extra did it.

Related: The Day the Stanley Cup Was Stolen

Scoring 50 targets has lengthy been a gold normal of particular person accomplishments for NHL skaters. Difficult for even the really nice, it’s an accomplishment that conjures up photographs of the sport’s most well-known – Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy, Guy Lafleur, and, after all, the person who first managed the feat – Maurice “Rocket” Richard.

Alex Ovechkin with the Rocket Richard Trophy for probably the most targets in a season. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI by way of Getty Images)

There have been 205 50-aim seasons in league historical past, so listed below are 10 issues it’s best to know in regards to the feat.

10. Maurice Did it First

Richard established that scoring 50 targets in a season was attainable in 1945, and he solely wanted 50 video games through which to do it. Only Bossy, Gretzky, Lemieux, and Brett Hull have completed the identical since. Despite enjoying within the NHL for one more 15 years, Richard by no means scored 50 targets in a season once more.


9. It Took 16 Years for Anyone to Do it Again

After Richard, it wasn’t till Bernie “Boom-Boom” Geoffrion scored 50 targets in 68 video games through the 1961-62 season that the magic whole was matched.

8. Some Years it’s Easier than Others

Changes within the nature of the sport (and the size of its season) have influenced what number of 50-aim scorers the NHL has produced over time. In reality, analysts hold observe of period-adjusted aim scoring totals. According to that metric, Brett Hull’s 86 targets within the 1990-91 season, good for 78 period-adjusted targets, is the most effective-ever aim-scoring season.

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The variety of 50-aim scorers peaked within the 1992-93 season, partially as a result of the league performed a report excessive 84-recreation season that 12 months (as additionally they did in 1993-94). Remarkably, for the reason that lockout, there have been fewer 50-aim scorers, regardless of the sooner and fewer obstructed gameplay. The elevated ability of the goaltenders, and the enhancements of their tools, offset the elevated ability and freedom of the gamers. Though with the likes of Matthews, Draisaitl, Pastrnak, and Ovechkin, that may very well be altering.

7. The Rocket Truly Matched…Finally

Mike Bossy was the primary to duplicate Richard’s extraordinary 50 targets in 50 video games. But many have forgotten that Bossy nonetheless wanted two targets going into that fiftieth recreation, and with lower than 5 minutes remaining within the recreation, he hadn’t scored. In one of many extra dramatic sequences of occasions in NHL historical past, Bossy scored aim quantity 49 at 15:50 of the third interval. Then, with a mere 1:29 left on the scoreboard, Bossy took a cross from teammate Bran Trottier earlier than firing dwelling quantity 50. Maurice Richard was in attendance on the recreation and congratulated Bossy personally.

6. And Then Came Gretzky…

In textbook Gretzky trend, quantity 99 not solely managed to match his predecessors’ most spectacular data, he shattered them. During the 1981-82 season, Gretzky scored 50 targets in 39 video games. Not solely did he set one of the toughest of his records to break, however he even outdid Bossy’s in-recreation drama.

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Gretzky started that recreation on December 30, 1981, with 45 targets. On a Toronto sports activities radio speak present, he just lately mentioned he felt scared getting into that recreation, fearful that he may be the man who scored 45 targets in 38 video games however couldn’t dwell up to the expectations of breaking Richard’s report. Wayne needn’t have anxious. He scored 5 targets that recreation, setting a milestone which will by no means be reached.

5. Some Teams Produce More than Others

When evaluating NHL groups’ manufacturing of fifty-aim scorers, longevity and high quality of franchise matter – however not as a lot as having one key participant who can replicate the feat over and over. The Edmonton Oilers can declare probably the most 50-aim scorers with 19 – however Gretzky offered half of those seasons.

Jari Kurri Wayne Gretzky Mark Messier
Jarri Kuri, Wayne Gretzky, and Mark Messier headline the Oilers 50-Goal Club

Beyond them are the Pittsburgh Penguins with 16, the Los Angeles Kings with 14, and the Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, and New York Islanders, who’re tied at 12.

4. Some Teams Don’t Produce Any

Of the energetic NHL groups, solely 4 can’t declare a 50-aim scorer – the New Jersey Devils, the Minnesota Wild, the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Nashville Predators. The Winnipeg Jets and Carolina Hurricanes are nonetheless searching for their first gamers to attain the 50-aim plateau of their present incarnations, however the Jets had Ilya Kovalchuk do it throughout their time in Atlanta, and Blaine Stoughton is the one Whalers or Hurricanes participant to hit the mark.

3. Some Players Do it Often

Gretzky and Bossy lead the NHL because the gamers who’ve scored 50 or extra targets probably the most usually, every having executed it 9 instances. But Ovechkin is instantly on their heels with eight. He possible would have joined them had the season not been shortened. Lafleur, Marcel Dionne, and Lemieux all did it in six seasons.

Wayne Gretzky #99
Wayne Gretzky (Photo by B Bennett/Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

Hull, Pavel Bure, and Steve Yzerman all reached the 5-season mark.

2. You Don’t Need a Strong Team Around You

Many of the NHL’s 50-aim males performed for highly effective, dominant groups like Richard’s Canadiens, who had a degree share of .800 in 1944-45, however not all benefited from enjoying for such sturdy groups. Mike Bullard did it for the Penguins in 1983-84 together with his staff accumulating simply .238 % of their factors!

Behind him, Rick Valve, Danny Grant, and Stoughton all did it for groups that collected fewer than 40 % of their factors. In reality, Valve did it twice with the Maple Leafs, of their 1981-82 season (.350) and of their 1983-84 season (.381).

1. Finally, a Trophy

In 1998-99, the Canadiens donated a trophy to the NHL to be given yearly to the league’s prime aim-scorer. Its title? The Maurice “Rocket” Richard trophy after all. But like Rick Nash, Kovalchuk, and Jarome Iginla – co-winners of the trophy in 2003-04 – not all the recipients have wanted 50 targets to take dwelling the award.

Related: Longest Stanley Cup Droughts

Pastrnak and Ovechkin shared the award through the 2019-20 season, simply the second time since 2011-12 that Ovechkin wasn’t the only winner of the award. These days, the aim-scoring historians are watching Ovechkin with bated breath. The 35-12 months-outdated scored his 700th aim within the 2019-20 season (pictured above) and is chasing Gretzky’s 894. He’d want simply 4 extra 50-aim seasons to do it. It could appear ridiculous, however he’s confirmed no indicators of slowing. And he stands out as the final participant we ever watch with a shot on the Great One’s all-time mark.

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