The 4 Major League Hockey Players To Record 100 Assist Seasons
Only four players in major league hockey have recorded over 100 assists in a single regular season. Before those readers in the know immediately scroll down and call me out in the comment section, yes, only three of the players were from the NHL.
When hockey people use the term ‘major league hockey’, they are usually combining the National Hockey League and the World Hockey Association. The WHA existed from 1972 to 1979 and at its peak, a year before its demise, the league’s champion was considered to be just as good, if not better, than the NHL’s powerhouse Montreal Canadiens.
Of the four players, all but one accomplished the feat on just one occasion. Wayne Gretzky topped 100 assists in a regular season an amazing eleven times. The Great One surpassed the plateau as an Edmonton Oiler and a Los Angeles King. Gretzky topped out with 163 in 1985-86, an impassable record that stands today.
Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins was the first player hit the 100 assist mark and the only defenseman to ever accomplish the feat in the history of major league hockey. Orr had 102 assists during the 1970-71 season and also became the only defenseman to ever win the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading point getter than season.
In 1988-89, Mario Lemieux recorded 114 assists for the Pittsburgh Penguins. That season, Lemieux had 199 points, one shy of becoming only the second player in the history of the NHL to achieve the 200 point plateau. Of course, the only player to do that is Gretzky.
At the pinnacle of his hockey career, Andre Lacroix recorded 106 assists for the San Diego Mariners of the WHA in 1974-75. Lacroix’s 147 points that season for the Mariners marked the second time in the league’s short history that Andre had won the scoring title. Despite being an NHL regular for several years before the WHA, Lacroix’s hockey career ended abruptly after the WHA merged with the NHL in 1979-80.
Eight other NHL players have surpassed the 90 assist plateau, including: Steve Yzerman of the Detroit Red Wings, Adam Oates with both the St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins, Paul Coffey of the Edmonton Oilers, Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks, Ron Francis of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Peter Stastny of the Quebec Nordiques, Doug Gilmour of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pat Lafontaine of the Buffalo Sabres.
The most recent player to top 90 assists and threaten the 100 assist benchmark was Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks in 2006-07. Thornton recorded 92 assists that season.
Will it happen this year, 2010-11? It’s not looking good. Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks is dominating the league in that category and is on an assist per game pace. With an 82 game schedule, he is obviously on pace for 82 assists.