Let the countdown to Gretzky begin.
Jaromir Jagr picked up the 1,888th point of his career with an assist on a Florida goal in the third period of the Panthers 3-1 loss to Boston on Thursday night. Jagr got a deflection of a Michael Matheson shot that kicked off the left pad of Tuukka Rask out to Aleksander Barkov, who buried his ninth goal of the season.
Jagr passes Mark Messier, who had held the perch he’d held since November 2003, when he recorded his 1,851st point to pass Gordie Howe.
Meanwhile, Jagr has 1,132 career assists, which trails Paul Coffey by three for fifth on the all-time list. He only needs 969 points to match Gretzky’s record of 2,857.
What’s amazing is Jagr spent three seasons out of the NHL, playing in the KHL. While he’d fallen from his early-career pace by that point, he departed the league in 2008 just two years removed from a 123-point season. Whatever totals he’d accumulated still doesn’t catch Gretzky, but the numbers would albeit be even higher.