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Ovechkin: On Pace For 1,122 Goals

Ever wonder how many goals Alex Ovechkin will have scored by the time he hangs up his skates and is frozen in carbonite to be displayed for eternity at the National Hockey League Hall of Fame (Brought To You By Carl's Junior) in Honolulu, Hawaii? Me too.

Assuming that he continues at his current pace (which is a very conservative assumption, as both he and his team can only reasonably be expected to get better), if AO plays the same number of NHL games that Gordie Howe played (1,767), he'll end his career with 1,122 goals and 1,234 assists. In 2038. Personally, I look forward to watching him play a few years in the upstart CCHL (Clear Channel Hockey League) in the early 2030's alongside sons Mariowho and Sidwho.

Of course, injuries can hit too, despite AO's proclamation that the "Russian machine never breaks." If Ovie's hit-everything-that-moves style of play leads to knee problems like, say, Cam Neely, his career may be cut tragically short, leaving him with a mere 461 goals and 507 assists. On the plus side, AO will make a great Sea Bass in retirement. Oddly, if it's the big "C" that tracks AO down and he plays the same 915 games that Mario Lemieux played (or should I say has played so far), he'll still end up with 581 goals and 639 assists.

Then there's the Great One. While there probably aren't any 215-point seasons in Ovechkin's future (even though I've always said that Matt Pettinger is the next Jari Kurri), would a 92-goal campaign be completely out of the question? I don't think so. If AO plays the same number of games Wayne Gretzky played, he'll end up with 944 goals and 1039 assists, good enough for second all-time.

So there you have it. Alex Ovechkin will end up with anywhere between 461 and 1,122 goals. You can take that to the bank.