According to NHL records, the National Hockey League (NHL) was formed on November 26, 1917 after the National Hockey Association (NHA) suspended operations. Between 1917 and 1926, the NHL joined the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) in an interleague competition known as the Stanley Cup.
The PCHA ceased operations in 1924, leaving the NHL along in its quest for the Stanley Cup Between 1942 and 1967, the NHL consisted of just six teams – Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs – known as the ‘Original Six.’
In 1967, the NHL started expanding across the United States and Canada with six new teams forming – bringing the total to 12 teams. Another six teams were added by 1974 and three more were added by 1979. Nearly 20 years later, the NHL had 30 teams – with the final two being added in 2017 and 2021.
NHL Records That May Never Be Broken
The history of the NHL dates back more than 100 years – the league celebrated its 100-year anniversary during the 2017-18 season. During that time, hockey fans have been blessed (and even pampered, at times) with some record-breaking performances, memorable moments, iconic legends, and much more.
Like any other sport in the world, NHL records are meant to be broken. While we have no way of telling when (or even if) those NHL records will be broken, they’re there for a reason – someone has to dethrone those at the top. And it seems like every year, a new set of records come crashing back down to earth.
But we’re not here to talk about the records that get broken or the ones that are almost broken. Instead, we’re here to talk about unbreakable NHL records – those that are just too impressive to beat. That’s not to say they’ll never be broken, but the chances of someone breaking them in our lifetime are very rare.
Without further ado, let’s see which records made our list – be prepared to see a lot of Wayne Gretzky!
15. Most Consecutive 200-Point Seasons – 3 Seasons
Wayne Gretzky currently holds the record for most consecutive 200-point seasons, doing so three years in a row. He finished the 1983-84 season with 205 points (87 goals, 118 assists), the 1984-85 season with 208 points (73 goals, 135 assists), and the 1985-86 season with 215 points (52 goals, 163 assists).
This record is very unlikely to be broken because Gretzky is the only player to ever record at least 200 points in a season – he did so four times in total, including three in a row. Mario Lemieux is the only other player to come close to 200 points (199 points in 1988-89) – if he couldn’t do it, I doubt anyone else can.
14. Most Consecutive MVP Awards – 8 MVPs
Wayne Gretzky currently holds the record for most consecutive MVP awards, winning the Hart Memorial Trophy eight years in a row between 1980 and 1987 – he almost made it 10 in a row, but came third in MVP voting during the 1987-88 season before winning it again at the conclusion of the 1988-89 season.
I don’t expect this record to be broken due to the sheer difficulty behind getting one MVP – let alone eight in a row. In fact, no other player in NHL history has more than six MVP awards in their career (Gordie Howe) and only 19 players (including Gretzky) have won the Hart Memorial Trophy more than once.
13. Most Goals in a Single Season – 92 Goals
Wayne Gretzky currently holds the record for most goals in a single season, scoring 92 goals during the 1981-82 season. He finished that season with 92 goals, 120 assists, and 212 points – which is also the second-most points in a single season behind his record 215 points in 1985-86 (87 goals, 118 assists).
Only eight players in NHL history (including Gretzky) have scored at least 70 goals in a season, but it hasn’t been done since the 1992-93 season. Likewise, only three players have ever scored more than 80 goals in a single season – including Gretzky (twice), Brett Hull (86 goals) and Mario Lemieux (85 goals).
12. Fewest Games Needed to Score 50 Goals – 39 Games
Wayne Gretzky currently holds the record for fewest games needed to score 50 goals in a single season, doing so in just 39 games during the 1981-82 season – the same year he broke the record for most goals in a single season (see above). He finished with 51 goals and 58 assists (109) points through 39 games.
I don’t think we’ll ever see someone score 50+ goals in the first 39 games of a season. In order to do so, a player would have to average 1.3 goals per game through at least the first half of the season – keep in mind, most players today struggle to average 1.0 point per game, let alone 1.0+ goals per game.
11. Most Stanley Cup Titles by a Player – 11 Titles
Henri Richard currently holds the record for most Stanley Cup titles by a single player, winning 11 times during his 20-year career – all of which came with the Montreal Canadiens. He won the Stanley Cup in each of his first five seasons, then won six more titles in an eight-year span between 1965 and 1973.
Winning a Stanley Cup is something most players will never achieve, let alone 11 times in their career – especially with how the game is played today. In fact, only three NHL teams have won at least 11 titles – Canadiens (23), Maple Leafs (13), and Red Wings (11) – and 12 NHL teams have yet to win one.
10. Most Career Shutouts by a Goalie – 125 Shutouts
Martin Brodeur currently holds the record for most career shutouts by a goalie, recording 125 shutouts throughout his 22-year career. He led the league in shutouts five times in his career and finished with at least 10 shutouts on four occasions – including a career-high 12 shutouts during the 2006-07 season.
In order to do what Brodeur did, a goalie would have to average 6.25 shutouts over a 20-year career. Taking a look at the 2022-23 season, only one goalie had six shutouts (Ilya Sorokin), but he only has 16 career shutouts through 3 seasons. Marc-Andre Fleury is the active leader with 73 career shutouts.
9. Most Career Wins by a Goalie – 691 Wins
Martin Brodeur currently holds the record for most career wins by a goalie, recording 691 wins in 1,266 career games played – he had a 691-397-154 record behind net. Brodeur led the league in wins on nine occasions, including doing so four years in a row – twice! He had a career-high 48 wins in 2006-07.
In order to break this record, a goalie would have to average 35 wins per season over a 20-year career. Not only does the average goalie spend five years as a starter, but only five goalies had more than 35 wins last season and it would be extremely hard for any of them to keep it up for the next 19 seasons.
8. Worst Team Record in Single Season – 8-67-5
The Washington Capitals currently hold the record for worst team record in a single season, finishing the 1974-75 season with an 8-67-5 record. Since the amount of games played in a season has changed throughout the history of the NHL, the best way to measure this statistic is with points percentage.
The Capitals finished the 1974-75 season with a 0.131 points percentage – they had just 21 points in 80 games. Only four other teams have finished with a points percentage below 0.150. The Anaheim Ducks had the lowest percentage in 2022-23 with 0.354 – they finished with 58 points and a 23-47-12 record.
7. Most Points in a Single Season by a Defenseman – 139 Points
Bobby Orr currently holds the record for most points by a defenseman in a single season, recording 139 points during the 1970-71 season – he had 37 goals and 102 assists in 78 games played. While there are several defenseman in today’s NHL that know how to rack up points, they aren’t coming close to 139.
Erik Karlsson is the only active defenseman to record at least 100 points in a single season – doing so in 2022-23 with 101 points, but he was still 39 points away from breaking the record. He became just the sixth defenseman in NHL history to record at least 100 points in a single season – it doesn’t happen often.
6. Most Career Penalty Minutes – 3,971 Penalty Minutes
Tiger Williams currently holds the record for most career penalty minutes, accumulating 3,966 penalty minutes in 962 games played over his 14-year career. He led the NHL in penalty minutes three times and had at least 300 penalty minutes on six occasions – including a career-high 358 minutes in 1986-87.
Williams has 406 more penalty minutes than the second-most player in NHL history – Dale Hunter retired with 3,565 penalty minutes over his 19-year career. I don’t think anyone will ever catch Williams in today’s NHL, considering the active leader in penalty minutes is Corey Perry at just 1,380 penalty minutes.
5. Most Goals by a Rookie in a Single Season – 76 Goals
Teemu Selanne currently holds the record for most goals scored in a player’s rookie season, scoring 76 goals as a rookie during the 1992-93 season. He finished the season with 76 goals, 56 assists, and 132 points in 84 games played with the Winnipeg Jets and went on to score 684 goals in his 21-year career.
Mike Bossy has the second-most goals by a rookie with 53 and only two other players have scored more than 50 goals as a rookie. I don’t think anyone will ever touch this record because only three players in NHL history have scored more than that in one season – and that’s among all players, not just rookies.
4. Most Points in a Single Game – 10 Points
Darryl Sittler currently holds the record for most points in a single game, recording 10 points against the Boston Bruins on February 7, 1976. He finished the game with six goals and four assists as his Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Bruins 11-4. He finished the season with 41 goals, 59 assists, and 100 points.
Sittler is the only player to record at least 10 points in a single game. While no one has ever had a 9-point game in the NHL, 11 players finished a game with 8 points and only one of those players is still active today – Sam Gagner had 8 points (4 goals, 4 assists) with the Edmonton Oilers on February 2, 2012.
3. Most Career Assists – 1,963 Assists
Wayne Gretzky currently holds the record for most career assists, dishing 1,963 assists during his iconic and legendary 20-year career in the NHL. He led the league in assists on 16 occasions – including 13 in a row – and had at least 100 assists in 11 straight seasons. His career-high was 163 assists in 1985-86..
Here’s what makes this record unbreakable – he has 714 more assists than the next closest on the all-time list (Ron Francis had 1,249 career assists) and has 1,011 more assists than the next closest active player on the all-time list (Sidney Crosby has 952 assists). No one will EVER come close to 1,963.
2. Most Consecutive Starts by a Goalie – 502 Starts
Glenn Hall currently holds the record for most consecutive starts by a goalie, making 502 consecutive starts with the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Black Hawks – the streak started on October 6, 1955 and came to an end on November 4, 1962. He started every single game for seven straight seasons.
In the NHL today, we will never see a goalie start every game for an entire season – let alone seven consecutive seasons. Only seven goalies started in at least 60 games during the 2022-23 regular season and that’s in an 82-game season. This very well could be one of the most unbreakable NHL records.
1. Most Career Points Scored – 2,857 Points
Wayne Gretzky currently holds the record for most career points scored, tallying 2,857 points (894 goals, 1,963 assists) during his 20-year, Hall of Fame career. There’s a reason they call him ‘The Great One’ and it’s because he holds numerous records that will never be touched – and that’s almost a guarantee.
Gretzky led the league in points 11 times in his career and had more than 100 points in all but five of his seasons. He has 936 more points than the second player on the all-time list (Jaromir Jagr had 1,921 points) and has 1,355 more points than the closest active player (Sidney Crosby has 1,502 points).
NHL Records That Could Be Broken Soon
While there are a lot of NHL records that may never be broken, there are several that could be broken any year now – after all, records are broken almost every day. One of the most prominent is most goals scored all-time – the record is currently owned by Wayne Gretzky at 894 goals, but will that record last?
Alex Ovechkin is currently at 822 goals in his career and is showing no signs of stopping, despite turning 38 years old in September. He’s coming off a 42-goal season at 37 years old and had 50 goals in his age-36 season. All he needs is 73 goals to pass Gretzky, which can easily be done in two more seasons.
Another record that might be broken by Ovechkin (as soon as next season) is career game-winning goals – the record is held by JaromirJagr with 135 such goals, but Ovechkin is right behind him with 124 such goals. Likewise, SidneyCrosby very well could be the all-time leader in face-offs won as soon as 2025.
15 MLB Records That May Never Be Broken
The Major League Baseball (MLB) we know and love today has gone down in history as the oldest major professional sports league in the world – so one can only imagine the amount of history hidden in the never-ending book of MLB records. And that history has been documented since the 19th century.
The National League (NL) was formed in 1876, while the American League (AL) was formed 25 years later in 1901. Unity and cooperation between the two leagues was a result of the National Agreement in 1903, but it wasn’t until 2000 that they merged into the same organization led by the Commissioner.
With nearly 150 years of existence, the MLB has an overwhelming amount of history to show and tell. More than 20,000 players have made a career out of the game of baseball and several hundred – 270 to be exact – have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, located in Cooperstown, NY.
MLB Records That Are Unbreakable
The MLB records book is one of the most sacred record books in all of sports. From historic legends to modern-day icons, baseball has changed so much over the past 150 years and the records we get to witness every single year help tell that story in a vivid manner – it’s what makes baseball, well, baseball.
They often say records are meant to be broken – we’ve all heard that saying before. And while any record CAN be broken, that doesn’t necessarily mean all records WILL be broken. The fact of the matter is some records are simply so impressive that they may never be touched by anyone – no matter how hard we try.
Last year, we saw Aaron Judge write his name in the history books when he hit his 62nd home run of the 2022 season – breaking an AL record and becoming the only baseball player not connected to PED use to hit at least 62 home runs in one season (behind Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGwire).
To honor the history written in the MLB records book, let’s take a look at 15 MLB records that may never be broken:
15. Most Hits in a Single Season – 262 hits
Ichiro Suzuki currently holds the record for most hits in a single season, finishing the 2004 season with 262 hits. He had at least 200 hits in each of his first 10 seasons and led the entire MLB in hits in seven of those seasons. He retired after his 19th season in 2019 with 3,089 hits and a .311 career batting average.
While Ichiro made it look easy, getting 200 hits in a single season isn’t easy – the last players to do it were Whit Merrifield (206 hits) and Rafael Devers (201 hits) in the 2019 season. Players come close every year, but almost always fail. And while 200 hits is hard, getting more than 262 is near impossible.
14. Most Career Walks by a Pitcher – 2,795 Walks
Nolan Ryan currently holds the record for most career walks by a pitcher – throwing 2,795 walks across his legendary and iconic 27-year career in the MLB. He led the entire MLB in walks on seven occasions, which isn’t necessarily something to be proud of, but he more than made up for it with a lot of strikeouts.
To put this record into perspective, Ryan has 962 more walks than the next closest pitcher all-time – Steve Carlton with 1,833 strikeouts – and 1,912 more walks than the next closest active pitcher – Justin Verlander at 883 walks. Ryan was in the MLB far too long for anyone to match what he did in his career.
13. Most Consecutive Games Played – 2,632 Games
Cal Ripken Jr. currently holds the record for most consecutive games played – he played in 2,632 consecutive games between May 30, 1982 and September 19, 1998. During that time, he won Rookie of the Year in 1982 and two MVPs – once in 1983 and again in 1991. He retired after the 2001 season.
Only one other player has played in more than 2,000 consecutive games – Lou Gehrig played in 2,130 straight games between 1925 and 1939. What’s even more crazy is that only five other players have had a streak of more than 1,000 games played and it hasn’t been done since 2007 – Miguel Tejada.
12. Most Career Strikeouts by a Pitcher – 5,714 Strikeouts
Nolan Ryan currently holds the record for most career strikeouts by a pitcher – throwing 5,714 strikeouts during his 27-year career in the MLB. He led the MLB in strikeouts on seven occasions, led the AL in strikeouts on eight occasions, and led the NL in strikeouts on two occasions. He was and is the G.O.A.T..
To put his record in perspective, the next closest pitcher on the all-time list is Randy Johnson with 4,875 career strikeouts – 839 away from Ryan – and the next closest active pitcher is Max Scherzer with 3,219 career strikeouts – 2,495 away from Ryan. I don’t expect anyone to ever surpass this unbreakable record.
11. Longest Hitting Streak – 56 Games
Joe DiMaggio currently holds the record for longest hitting streak – recording a hit in 56 straight games during the 1941 season. During that record-breaking stretch, DiMaggio had a .408 batting average with 91 hits, 16 doubles, 4 triples, 15 home runs, 55 runs batted in, and 56 runs scored in 223 at-bats.
To put that record into perspective, only 55 MLB players have ever had a hitting streak of at least 30 games and only six players have a hitting streak of at least 40 games – Willie Keeler has the second longest hitting streak of all-time at 45 games in 1896-97. Hitting streaks like that don’t happen anymore.
10. Back-to-Back No-Hitters – Johnny Vander Meer (1938)
Johnny Vander Meer is currently the only pitcher in MLB history to ever throw back-to-back no-hitters – doing so during the 1938 season. The first no-hitter came against the Boston Bees on June 11, 1938 and he followed that up with a second no-hitter against the Brooklyn Dodgers on June 15, 1938.
To put this record into perspective, only 15 no-hitters have been thrown since 2020 and five of the past seven no-hitters thrown were combined no-hitters (multiple pitchers were used). No-hitters are very rare today and getting two is even more rare – let alone doing so in two consecutive starts. Now that’s tough!
9. Most Walks in a Single Season by a Batter – 232 Walks
Barry Bonds currently holds the record for most walks in a single season by a batter – he was walked a record 232 times during the 2004 season (the same season Ichiro set a record with 262 hits). Bonds led the MLB in walks on eight occasions and has the three highest single-season walk totals all-time.
The next closest player on the all-time list is Babe Ruth, who ranks No. 4 on the all-time list with 170 walks during the 1923 season. Only three other MLB players have recorded at least 150 walks in a single season – Mark McGwire did it once, Eddie Yost did it once, and Ted Williams did it three times.
8. Most Triples in a Single Season – 36 Triples
Owen Wilson (the baseball player, not the actor) currently holds the record for most triples in a single season – he hit 36 triples with the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 1912 season. It’s the only time he led the MLB in triples and the only time in his career that he had more than 14 triples in a single season.
Wilson retired with 114 career triples – while that ranks tied-113th all-time, he’s one of just three players to have at least 30 steals in a single season. The most triples in a single season by an active player is just 15, which was done by Eddie Rosario during the 2015 season – he was 22 short of breaking the record.
7. Most Career Steals – 1,406 Steals
Rickey Henderson currently holds the record for most career steals – stealing 1,406 bases during his iconic 25-year career in the MLB. He led the MLB in steals on six occasions and led the AL in steals on 12 occasions – including three seasons of at least 100 steals. He’s the G.O.A.T. of stealing bases.
To put this record into perspective, Henderson has 468 more steals than the next closest player on the all-time list – Lou Brock with 938 career steals – and 1,066 more steals than the closest active player – Elvis Andrus with 340 career steals. Steal numbers are rising across the league, but not quite enough.
6. Most Steals in a Single Season – 130 Steals
Rickey Henderson currently holds the record for most steals in a single season – stealing a total of 130 bases during the 1982 season (the same season Cal Ripken Jr. started his consecutive games played streak). It was Henderson’s fourth year in the league and he also led the MLB in bases on balls (walks).
Hugh Nicol recorded 138 stolen bases during the 1887 season, which is eight more than Henderson’s record – but it came at a time when baserunners were awarded a steal if they reached an extra base on a hit from another player. Lou Brock came close to Henderson’s record in 1974 with 118 stolen bases.
5. Most Runs Scored in a Single Season – 198 Runs Scored
Billy Hamilton currently holds the record for most runs scored in a single season – scoring 198 runs during the 1894 season. It was the same year he led the MLB in plate appearances, walks, stolen bases, and on-base percentage (OBP). He led the MLB in runs scored three times during his 14-year career.
The two next closest players on the all-time list for runs scored in a single season is Babe Ruth – who scored 177 runs during the 1921 season – and Tom Brown – who scored 177 runs during the 1891 season. Aaron Judge led the MLB in runs scored during the 2022 season with 133 runs scored.
4. Most Runs Batted In (RBIs) in a Single Season – 191 RBIs
Hack Wilson currently holds the record for most runs batted in (RBIs) in a single season – hitting 191 RBIs during the 1930 season. It’s the same season he led the MLB in home runs (56) and strikeouts (84). He also led the entire league in RBIs the year prior (1929), when he hit 159 RBIs in 150 games played.
Several players have come close to this record in the past, but not recently – Miguel Cabrera has the most RBIs in a single season by an active player with 139 RBIs (52 short of the record) in 2012. During the 2022 campaign, Aaron Judge and Pete Alonso both led the MLB with 131 runs batted in each.
3. Most Career Total Bases – 6,856 Total Bases
Hank Aaron currently holds the record for most career total bases – recording 6,856 total bases during his legendary and iconic 23-year career. He led the MLB in total bases on four occasions and had at least 300 total bases in 15 of his 23 seasons – including a career-high 400 total bases during the 1959 season.
The next closest player on the all-time list for total bases in Albert Pujols, who retired at the end of last season with 6,211 total bases – he had an Hall of Fame 22-year career, but was still 645 total bases short of the record. The active leader in total bases is Miguel Cabrera, who currently has 5,266 total bases.
2. Most Career Plate Appearances – 15,890 Plate Appearances
Pete Rose currently holds the record for most career plate appearances – making a total of 15,890 plate appearances over his 24-year career. He led the MLB in plate appearances seven times, including three consecutive years on two occasions. He also had a career-high 771 plate appearances in 1974.
He has 1,898 more plate appearances than the next closest player on the all-time list – Carl Yastrzemski with 13,992 plate appearances – and has 4,388 more plate appearances than Miguel Cabrera with 11,502 plate appearances. Only six players have recorded at least 13,000 career plate appearances.
1. Most Career Hits – 4,256 Hits
Pete Rose currently holds the record for most career hits – recording 4,256 hits during his 24-year career. He led the MLB in hits on seven occasions and had at least 200 hits on 10 occasions – including a career-high 230 hits during the 1973 season. When it comes to making contact, Rose was the G.O.A.T..
Rose has 67 more hits than the next closest player on the all-time list – Ty Cobb with 4,189 career hits – and has 1,155 more hits than the next closest active player – Miguel Cabrera at 3,101 hits. After Cabrera, the next closest active player is Joey Votto with 2,093 hits – putting the record into perspective.
MLB Records That Might Be Broken Soon
While there are a flurry of MLB records that’ll likely never be touched – at least in the foreseeable future – there are also a collection of MLB records that are likely to be broken any season now. For example, the record for most doubles by a batter in a single season is 67 – a record that might not last much longer.
You can also make an argument for the most strikeouts by a batter in a single season. The current record is held by Mark Reynolds at 223 strikeouts in 2009, but batters continue to strike out more and more in the modern era – Joey Gallo had 213 strikeouts in 2021 and Kyle Schwarber had 200 strikeouts in 2022.
With that said, it seems like records are being broken every other game – some are small records, while others are more impressive. It’s what makes the MLB such an interesting sport to watch and follow along to. You never really know what might happen until it happens – leaving us with our jaws on the floor.
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