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Sunday, March 17, 2002
Great One becomes The Greatest

By Larry Schwartz
Special to

March 23, 1994

Wayne Gretzky, who already has broken Gordie Howe's record for most points in NHL history, snaps another one of his boyhood idol's vaunted marks before a crowd at the L.A. Forum that includes recent Oscar winner Tom Hanks. Against the Vancouver Canucks on the power play, Gretzky tips a pass into the net for his 802nd goal, putting him one up on Howe as the NHL's all-time leading goal scorer.

Gretzky scores his 802 goals in 1,117 games, while it took Howe 1,767 games to notch his 801. Gretzky has had 183 multi-goal games, 179 power-play goals and 72 short-handed goals.

At a center-ice ceremony honoring the Los Angeles Kings center, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman gives Gretzky a book with a score sheet of every game in which he scored a goal.

"You've always been the Great One," Bettman says, "but tonight you've become the greatest."