By making it to 500 career goals, Alexander Ovechkin becomes the 10th player to do it in less than 900 games, joining the Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Brett Hull, Bobby Hull, Phil Esposito and Manuel Richard among others on the prestigious list.
Marcel Dionne, 887
The Centre out of Drummondville in Quebec played 18 seasons in the NHL for the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings and later the New York Rangers. He entered the hall of fame in 1992, three years after retiring with 731 career goals and 1040 assists, putting him 5th all time in goals, 10th in assists and 6th in overall points. He scored his 500th goal on December 14, 1982 while playing for the Kings against the Washington Capitals, scoring it against Al Jensen.
Maurice Richard, 863
Richard, who played all of his 18 NHL seasons with the Canadiens, was the first player to score 50 goals in one season (doing it in just 50 games) and also the first to reach 500 goals, doing it on October 19, 1957 facing Glenn Hall of the Chicago Blackhawks. Richard was an 8-time Stanley Cup champion with Montreal, was the league’s MVP in 1947 and made 13 All-Star games while making 14 post-season All-Star teams.
Bobby Hull, 861
Hull played in the NHL and also the World Hockey Association from 1957 to 1980, winning the Hart Trophy twice and the Stanley Cup once in 1961 with Chicago. A scorer of 610 career NHL goals (16th all-time), Hull got to number 500 on February 21, 1970, facing Eddie Giacomin of the New York Rangers. He made it into the hall of fame in 1983, and was only the third hockey player to appear on the cover of TIME magazine.
Jari Kurri, 833
Kurri, from Helsinki in Finland, played in the NHL from 1980 until 1998. He was with the Edmonton Oilers until 1990, and then began moving around, playing for the Kings, Rangers, Ducks and finally the Avalanche, winning the Stanley Cup five times and made nine All-Star games while being a First All-Star Team selection twice. A scoring champion in 1986, Kurri finished with 601 goals in the NHL, making the hall of fame in 2001. He got to number 500 on October 17, 1992 when playing for the Kings, scoring it against an empty Bruins net.
Phil Esposito, 803
Esposito played for the Blackhawks, Bruins and Rangers from 1963 to 1981, scoring 717 goals (sixth all-time) and winning two Stanley Cups with the Bruins in the early 70’s, while also appearing in 10 All-Star games and making eight different post-season All-Star teams. He scored number 500 on December 22, 1974 while playing for the Bruins against Jim Rutherford, at the time playing for the Red Wings. He made the Hall of Fame in 1984.
Alexander Ovechkin, 801
Ovechkin has been playing in the NHL since 2005, all of his seasons with the Capitals. He has led the league in goals five times, currently with a three-year streak going on. He has three MVP awards, and has been a first or second team All-Star in each of his 10 seasons, while being selected to the All-Star game seven times. Goal number 500 came for him on January 10 against Andrew Hammond of the Ottawa Senators.
Brett Hull, 693
Hull outdid his father by making it to 500 goals a lot quicker, doing it on December 22, 1996 for the St. Louis Blues (he’s the executive VP of the franchise), scoring it against Stephane Fiset of the Los Angeles Kings. Hull is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Dallas Stars and the Detroit Red Wings, a one-time winner of the Hart award and with 741 career goals is third on the all-time list, leading the NHL in scoring three times with a remarkable 228 goals in a three season span between 1989 and 1992. He’s in the hall of fame since 2009.
Mike Bossy, 647
Despite an incredible career, Bossy is something of a what if story due to his relatively early retirement “thanks” to back problems. He played 11 seasons for the New York Islanders, winning four consecutive Stanley Cup titles, being named to eight All-Star teams and making seven All-Star games. He scored 573 goals in just 752 games, leading the NHL twice, and is one of only five players with the 50 in 50 games, being the first to do it since Richard in the 1940s. Bossy scored number 500 on January 2, 1986 against the Boston Bruins, with an empty net in front of him. He’s in the hall of fame since 1991.
Mario Lemieux, 605
Lemieux played only 915 games out of a possible 1428, with cancer and other injuries getting in the way, making him retire and return and retire again. Besides all of that going on, he managed to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins, the only team he has played for, two the Stanley Cup twice (1991, 1992), win the MVP three times, making nine NHL All-Star teams and 10 All-Star games, while scoring 690 career goals (10th all-time) and lead the NHL in scoring three times, including 85 goals in 1988-1989. He entered the hall of fame in 1997 with the normal three-year waiting period waived. He scored number 500 on October 26, 1995 following sitting out the entire 1994-1995 season (shortened season anyway) against Tommy Soderstrom of the New York Islanders.
Wayne Gretzky, 575
The popular pick for the greatest hockey player who ever lived, Gretzky is the only one who needed less than 600 games to reach 500 goals, doing it on November 22, 1986, during his 8th season in the league, facing the Vancouver Canucks and an empty net at the time. He won the Hart Memorial trophy nine times, making the All-Star teams 14 times and the All-Star game 18 times. He’s the all-time leader in goals, points and assists, leading the league in scoring five times, including four in a row between 1982-1985, with a 92-goal season in 1981-1928 and an 87 goal season in 1983-1984. He won the Stanley Cup four times with the Edmonton Oilers, and entered the hall of fame in 1999, the same year he retired.