Jaromir Jagr had a video ready to go for when Alex Ovechkin officially passed him for third on the NHL’s all-time goals list. And when The Great 8 scored goal No. 767 against the New York Islanders on Wednesday, the NHL hit “send” on one of the best tribute videos yet.
No. 68 took to Twitter to congratulate him on becoming the highest European-scoring player of all time, and also joked about a possible comeback.
“Alex, the Great 8, congratulations,” Jagr said. “Now, you’ve become the leading NHL goal scorer among European players. But keep scoring, keep scoring. Because as you know, I didn’t retire from hockey yet, and there’s a chance I might come back to the NHL and start chasing you!”
A very special congratulations from Jaromir Jagr to Alex Ovechkin (plus a little surprise at the end). 😉 pic.twitter.com/HGgSlqRTaQ
— NHL (@NHL) March 16, 2022
Ovechkin didn’t see the video right away after celebrating the milestone with his teammates in the dressing room, but when told about it in the media room, Ovechkin was all smiles.
“Oh yeah, great!” Ovechkin grinned.
The 36-year-old discussed Jagr, a longtime opponent over the course of his career and arguably, the player that led to Ovechkin landing in D.C. in the first place, and said it was “special” to move past Jagr after all the history and strides he made in the game.
“If he didn’t go back to the KHL, I think we would be two or maybe No. 1. But it is what it is,” Ovechkin said. “Now I’m happy and being No. 1 European player, Russian player, it’s pretty cool.”
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) March 16, 2022
READ MORE ON WHN: Ovechkin Reflects On Passing Jagr For Third On NHL’s All-Time Goals List
For now, Ovechkin is No. 1 in goals among all European players to ever play in the NHL. When it comes to the bigger picture, he is 35 goals shy of passing Gordie Howe for second all-time. Then, he is just 128 red lights away from breaking Wayne Gretzky’s record of 894, which was once thought to be “unbreakable.”
“Obviously I’m happy being the first European play all of time on goals, Russian-born player, it’s pretty cool,” Ovechkin added. “Pass all those names, legends — it’s history. It’s gonna be forever. Hope somebody gonna break my record, and we will see.”