Alex Ovechkin joined an exclusive club on Saturday with his 700th career goal. To many, that's just a number. OK, so it's a big number, but what does it really mean? To get a better understanding of how impressive a feat this was, let's look at it in terms of other sports.
Ovechkin is just the eighth player in NHL history to reach 700 goals. That is some pretty exclusive company. To achieve this requires not only a tremendous amount of skill but also some incredible durability just to play long enough to amass that many goals.
In baseball, there are only nine players who have hit 600 home runs. Only one of those players, Albert Pujols, is currently active.
A good football comparison would be 400 career touchdown passes. There are only five quarterbacks who have achieved this feat with Drew Brees the overall leader with 547. See Ovechkin as more of a running back than a quarterback? Well, then you could compare this to 100 rushing touchdowns, something only nine players have achieved in NFL history. Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson is the only active player to reach triple digits.
In basketball, only eight players have ever reached 30,000 points. LeBron James is the only active player to reach that mark.
When you start looking at some of the names, you begin to realize just how big a moment this was. Ovechkin is on par with players like Ken Griffey in baseball, Dan Marino or Marshall Faulk in football and Julius Erving in basketball.
And he's not done yet.
Ovechkin has reached 700 goals at the age of 34, giving him plenty of time to continue climbing the list. He sits just eight goals shy of the seventh-leading goalscorer (Mike Gartner 708) and 17 of the sixth-leading goalscorer (Phil Esposito 717).
Seven-hundred goals is not a lifetime achievement award for Ovechkin, it's just the latest milestone in a career that has been full of them and will have many more to come in the next few years.
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