Wayne Gretzky is rooting for Alex Ovechkin to break his all-time goals record

Despite being 34 years old, Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin is still playing hockey at an elite level. In fact, if he keeps his current pace up, it’s quite possible that he could break Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goals record over the next few seasons.

That’s something that Gretzky is more than okay with if it comes to fruition.

“I’m rooting for him as hard as anybody,” Gretzky told NBC Sports on Monday in a joint video call with Ovechkin. “I think it will be a great, wonderful day for hockey when he breaks the record.”

Gretzky even plans to follow Ovechkin around on the road once the Capitals star gets close to his all-time goals record. Detroit Red Wings legend Gordie Howe did the same thing with Gretzky when he was close to breaking Howe’s all-time goals record.

“I remember when I was breaking Gordie Howe’s record, my dad said to me at one point in time, ‘Your record is going to be broken one day, and I hope you have as much class and dignity as Gordie Howe has had with you breaking his record,'” Gretzky said. “And I hope I do. I hope I’m the first guy that’s able to shake his hand when he does break my record. I don’t think there’s any doubt in my mind that he has a great chance to do that.”

Gretzky is currently the all-time goals leader with 894 goals, while Ovechkin just eclipsed the 700-goal mark this season, and may have a chance at Gretzky’s all-time mark.

Ovechkin currently has 706 goals, which is good for eighth place on the all-time list. The Capitals forward is one of just eight players to register at least 700 goals during the course of his NHL career.

In addition, Ovechkin is currently tied for the league lead in goals (48) with Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak. Ovechkin is just two goals away from his ninth 50-goal season, which would tie Mike Bossy and Gretzky for the most all-time. If the season resumes and Ovechkin gets to 50 goals, it would mark the second consecutive season in which he eclipsed that total.

The two are also going to do battle in a video game face off in “NHL 20” to raise money to aid COVID-19 relief efforts. The contest will be streamed on the Capitals’ Twitch channel and played on Xbox One. Viewers will be able to make donations while the match is streamed, and proceeds will go to the Edmonton Food Bank and also Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s Feeding the Frontlines fund, which supports coronavirus patients in the Washington D.C. area.

“There’s been so much talk about the goal record, so there’s a nice link between Alex and myself,” Gretzky told the Washington Post. “I thought we could do something that people could watch and help raise money for those who need it.”

Gretzky and Ovechkin are going to be linked to each other on and off the ice for quite some time as Ovechkin attempts to break the all-time goals record once the NHL resumes play.

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