The “Ageless Wonder,” Jaromir Jagr reached yet another milestone on Tuesday night as the Florida Panthers defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 4-3 in a shootout, at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.
Jagr picked up an assist on all three of the Panthers regulation goals, bring his all-time points totals to 1,887 and a second-place tie with Hall of Famer, Mark Messier. The milestone point came just over 16 minutes into the final frame, when he picked up the helper on Nick Bjugstad’s first goal of the 2016-2017 season.
By tying Messier, only “The Great One,” Wayne Gretzky, who scored 2,857 points in the National Hockey League has more. Jagr’s next point will move him in sole possession of second place and just 969 points behind Gretzky.
Jagr’s numbers may prove to be a little bit more impressive than Messier’s, due to when each of them had their peak periods. Messier achieved a lot of his totals during the high-scoring era in the 1980’s, while Jagr began his scoring peak around the 1994-1995 season.
During that lockout shortened 1994-1995 season, Jagr captured his first Art Ross Trophy, as he led the league in scoring with 70 points in 48 games. He also went on to lead the league in scoring during the next four out six seasons as well.
In the 495 games between the 1994-1995 and the 2000-2001 seasons, he scored 314 goals and 446 assists for 760 points, about 23.6 percent more than Teemu Salanne who with 615 points in 502 games, had the second most points during the same period.
In Messier’s peak years from 1983-1984 to 1989-1990, he was unable to capture an Art Ross Trophy, despite putting up 680 points in 496 games. As his era had many scorers, those totals could only get him to 10th place overall.
During the late 1980’s though, Messier did climb up to fifth, but never got that chance to claim the top spot, as Jagr had been able to do during his peak. While the two superstars’ careers did overlap 14 seasons, between 1990-1991 and 2003-2004, most of Messier’s was spent in the high scoring era.
The 11 seasons prior to their career’s overlapping, teams managed to put up about 7.6 goals per game, about two goals more than in the nine years Jagr played after Messier hung up his skates.
In the World Hockey Association, Messier put up one goal and 10 assists in 52 games, during the 1979-1980 season. Jagr, who spent three seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League, with Omsk Avangard, between 2008-2009 and 2010-2011, put up 66 goals and 80 assists in 155 games.
Jagr’s career also spanned three lockouts, in which he played for Kladno in the Czech Extraliga adding 22 points in 11 games during the 1994-1995 season. He had 28 points in 17 games for Kladno and 39 in 32 games for Omsk during the 2004-2005 season. In 2012-2013, he put up 57 points in 34 for Kladno.
Messier though did take home the Hart Trophy, as league Most Valuable Player twice, despite not claiming an Art Ross, while Jagr, with his five scoring titles, only won the Hart once. A fact that shows both players went above and beyond in how they contributed to their clubs.
Messier’s 95 shorthanded points puts him in second place and has 80 more than Jagr. Messier also has hoisted the Stanley Cup four more times than Jagr has been able to do.
In addition to Jagr tying Messier for second place on the NHL All-Time Points list with 1,887, the Panthers victory gave goaltender Roberto Luongo his 447th career win and a fifth-place tie with Terry Sawchuck.
The victory also denied Sabres coach Dan Bylsma from becoming the second fastest coach to win his 330th regular season game.