In his 18th season in the NHL, Gordie Howe already had scored more points (1,220) and had more assists (676) than anyone in history. On November 10, 1963 he sought to stand alone among goal scorers.
Teammate Billy McNeill took the puck inside the Official Detroit Red Wings' blue line and headed up ice, with Howe trailing and yelling at him to keep going. After getting inside Montreal’s blue line, McNeill passed to Howe, who immediately fired. His black dart of a shot never got more than an inch off the ice and whistled through the narrow gap between goalie Charley Hodge and the right post. Mr. Hockey had scored his 545th goal, breaking his tie with Maurice the Rocket Richard.
The 15,027 fans in Detroit’s Olympia Stadium gave their hero a 20-minute standing ovation. The goal itself left Howe, who had been feeling the pressure in his chase to pass “The Rocket,” more relieved than elated. “Now I can start enjoying life again,” he said after Detroit’s 3-0 win, looking at the mob of reporters and photographers who had been chronicling his every move.
Richard won the Stanley Cup eight times in Montreal, was captain of four straight cup wins from 1957-1960 and was inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame in 1961 (the customary three year waiting period was waived).
Did You Know: Maurice Richard was also the first NHL player to achieve the feat of 50 goals in 50 games. He did so in the ‘44-‘45 season and it took 35 years before anyone matched the feat again. Also on that list: Mike Bossy, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Brett Hull.
On September 24, 1988, Ben Johnson won the 100m final at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, lowering his own world record to 9.79 seconds. Johnson would later remark that he would have been even faster had he not raised his hand in the air just before he finished the race. However, Johnson’s urine samples were found to contain stanozolol, and he was disqualified two days later. He later admitted having used steroids when he ran his 1987 world record, which caused the IAAF to rescind that record as well. Johnson and coach Francis complained that they used doping in order to remain on an equal footing with the other top athletes on drugs they had to compete against. In testimony before the Dubin inquiry into drug use, Francis charged that Johnson was only one of many cheaters, and he just happened to get caught. Later, six of the eight finalists of the 100-meter race tested positive for banned drugs or were implicated in a drug scandal at some point in their careers: Carl Lewis, who was given the gold medal, Linford Christie, who was moved up to the silver medal and who went on to win gold at the next Games, Dennis Mitchell, who was moved up to fourth place and finished third to Christie in 1992, and Desai Williams, Johnson’s countryman who won a bronze medal at the Los Angeles Games in 1984. In the ESPN documentary ESPN 30 for 30 Films: 9.79*, eventual silver medallist Christie states, and footage of the race shows, that Lewis “ran out of his lane… two or three times” during the race, which should have resulted in Lewis’ automatic disqualification.
"Goaltending is a normal job, sure. How would you like it in your job if every time you made a small mistake, a red light went on over your desk and 15,000 people stood up and yelled at you?" - Jacques Plante
The previous record was 9.85 held by Leroy Burrell of the United States. Donovan Bailey's time of 9.84 in Atlanta was the 100 m world record from 1996 until 1999, when it was broken by Greene. The time also stood as the Commonwealth record from 1996 until 2005, when it was broken by Asafa Powell, and is the current Canadian record (shared with Bruny Surin since 1999). His Olympic record was broken by Usain Bolt at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
"People have always doubted whether I was good enough to play this game at this level. I thought I was, and I thought I could be. What other people thought was really always irrelevant to me." - Steve Nash
Edmonton Oilers Wayne Gretzky scored his 70th goal of the season and added pair of assists in a 5-3 Oilers win over the Washington Capitals to tie an NHL record with his 153rd point of the season.
During the 1981–82 season, he surpassed a record that had stood for 35 years: 50 goals in 50 games. Set by Maurice “Rocket” Richard during the 1944–45 NHL season and tied by Mike Bossy during the 1980–81 NHL season, Gretzky accomplished the feat in only 39 games. His 50th goal of the season came on December 30, 1981 in the final seconds of a 7–5 win against the Philadelphia Flyers and was his fifth of the game.Later that season, Gretzky broke Esposito’s record for most goals in a season (76) on February 24, 1982, scoring three goals to help beat the Buffalo Sabres 6–3. He ended the 1981–82 season with records of 92 goals, 120 assists, and 212 points in 80 games, becoming the only player in NHL history to break the two hundred-point mark. That year, Gretzky became the first hockey player and first Canadian to be named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year. He was also named 1982 “Sportsman of the Year” by Sports Illustrated. The Canadian Press also named Gretzky Newsmaker of the Year in 1982.