- BetOnline has made Alex Ovechkin a +200 underdog to surpass Wayne Gretzky’s goal-scoring record
- The 36-year-old Russian is 165 goals away from breaking The Great One’s all-time mark
- Ovie scored more goals from age 30 to 35 than all but one player in NHL history
After Alexander Ovechkin agreed to a five-year $47.5 million contract extension with the Washington Capitals on the opening day of NHL Free Agency last week, many saw it as a clear indication that the Russian sniper has his sights set on shattering Wayne Gretzky’s supposedly unbreakable record of 894 career regular-season goals.
Will the Great Eight can surpass the Great One? And, if he does, will he embark on another drunken celebration tour like he did after winning the Stanley Cup in 2018? Let’s hope so.
Let’s review the odds and examine Ovie’s chances at setting the all-time goals record. You can also check out our NHL betting tips page for advice on how to wager on hockey.
Ovechkin Sets All-Time Goal Record
Where Ovechkin stands now
With 730 career goals, Ovechkin currently sits sixth on the all-time list — 165 from breaking Gretzky’s mark. Having inked a five-year extension, the soon-to-be 36-year-old will have to average 33 snipes per season throughout the life of the agreement to surpass the Great One.
The Capitals superstar averaged 50 in his last two full regular seasons before scoring 48 in 68 games during the 2019-20 campaign. And last year, despite spending 10 days on the COVID-19 protocol list and battling back and groin injuries down the stretch, Ovie’s 24 tallies in 45 games still put him on pace for 43 goals over an 82-game schedule.
Alex Ovechkin channels Michael Jordan with contract announcement https://t.co/SfCQ37x5EU pic.twitter.com/fczyaFky6b
— tickets4dc (@tickets4dc) July 29, 2021
Bottom line – Ovechkin still has the goods. In an era when athletes in all sports are defying father time (Roger Federer, Tom Brady, LeBron James), it’s easy to imagine the Great Eight continuing to dominate the NHL like he has over these past 16 years.
After all, Ovechkin has scored more goals from age 30 to 35 (255) than any player in NHL history, minus Phil Esposito (291).
Gretzky’s goal record in reach
Years ago, Ovie floated the possibility of finishing his career with Moscow Dynamo, but the only thing on his mind now is breaking Gretzky’s record. “I’m gonna try my best,” said Ovechkin. “That’s why I wanna play five more years. To have a chance to catch the Great One, why not? If I’m gonna be second, pretty good number as well.”
Looking at the board below, Ovechkin has an excellent chance of passing Marcel Dionne, Brett Hull and Jaromir Jagr by the end of next season, leaving him third place all-time behind only Gordie Howe and Gretzky.
Alex Ovechkin signed a new contract with the Capitals, keeping him with Washington through the 2025-26 season.
Ovechkin enters next season 2 goals away from passing Marcel Dionne for 5th place all-time and sits 165 away from breaking Wayne Gretzky’s all-time record of 894 goals. pic.twitter.com/awILbYOQIh
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 27, 2021
While oddsmakers believe the smart money is on Ovechkin not breaking No. 99’s record (-300), a mathematical formula created by Bill James gives the 36-year-old a 91 percent chance to reach 895 goals by the end of the 2025-26 campaign if he maintains his current “established level” of goals scored.
Amazingly, this same model gave him a 24 percent chance in 2016, a 34 percent chance in 2018 and a 83 percent at the start of February last year. This means that in the past five years, Ovechkin has more than tripled his chances of passing Gretzky as the NHL’s all-time leading scorer.
We’re betting he does it at +200.
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