|By Michael Wifall [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons|
Tonight the Florida Panthers played a close game with the Buffalo Sabers. They managed to win the game 4-3 in regulation bringing them with in one win of taking 4th place in the Atlantic division, but that was not the big news for the Panthers tonight. Jaromir Jagr made 3 assists bringing him to a career points total of 1887! This ties him with Mark Messier for 2nd place in career points scored. Messier and Jagr are 2nd behind Wayne Gretzky. The Great One holds the record still with an astonishing 2857 points over the span of his career. Jagr has had an amazing career thus far with multiple seasons where he has scored over 100 points, most recently in the 2005-06 season where he played for the New York Rangers and scored a seasons total of 123 points. Gretzky's career points record however is not likely to fall anytime soon. Gretzky has held this record since October 15th 1989, and he had 15 seasons where he scored 100 points or more during his career to get there. At this point it would take a player 20 seasons of averaging 140 points a season to break the career points record. The last player who was able to score more than 140 points in a single season was Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1995-96 season, where he posted an incredible 160 points. That being said it is entirely possible that Jagr will continue to score points throughout this season and in any future seasons he may play before retirement. I fully expect that Jagr will within the next month or two hold the 2nd place spot in most career points on his own.
Jagr already holds the record for most points scored by an NHL player 42 years or older with his points total last season of 27 goals and 66 points. In fact he is one of only 10 players to continue playing in the NHL after the age of 43. As of February 15 of this year, along with Gordie Howe and Mark Chelios he will be one of three players to play after the age of 45. At this point along with ranking 2nd in all time points he is also 3rd in career goals scored at 755, right now 2nd is Gordie Howe with 801, and again in the top spot is Wayne Gretzky with 894. Jaromir Jagr took a hiatus from the NHL in 2008 when he left to play for the KHL for three season between 2008 and 2011. He returned to the NHL for the 2011-2012 season. One of the biggest questions regarding NHL scoring records is, where would Jaromir Jagr stand if he had not taken that 3 season break? I don't believe he would have overtaken Gretzky's career points goal, but he very well might have taken second in all time goals from Gordie Howe. There has been some speculation that he might even have surpassed Gretzky to take the record in most career goals. While anything is possible, I do not believe that he would have overtaken Gretzky even if he had stayed with the NHL for those 3 seasons. In the three years before he left the NHL in 08 he scored 99 total goals, but in the 3 years after his return in the 11-12 season he only scored 35. Since the low scoring 2012-13 season with Boston where he only scored 2 goals he has had a drastic improvement in goals scored, but is not likely to ever get back to his seasons of scoring 30 goals or more. Even if he is not able to take second in career goals scored from Howe, Jagr has had and is continuing to have an amazing career and I look forward to seeing him play throughout this season and hopefully at least one more as well. Any more records he manages to set are just gravy on what has been an awesome professional Hockey career. We are sure to see Jaromir Jagr in the hall of fame as soon as he is eligible to be inducted. Congratulations Jaromir Jagr on moving into 2nd along with Messier in total career points, and may he earn many more points before the end of this season!