Gordie Howe scored 786 times in a Detroit Red Wings uniform – nobody has scored more goals for the same NHL franchise. Take a look at the all-time leading goal-scorer for all 31 NHL teams, plus the all-time runner-up and active leader.
By Sam McCaig
April 25, 2020
Wayne Gretzky is the NHL’s all-time leading goal-scorer with 894. But nobody has more goals for the same franchise than Gordie Howe, who scored 786 times in a Detroit Red Wings uniform. Gretzky, by comparison, had 583 goals with the Edmonton Oilers before he was packaged to Los Angeles in the Marty McSorley trade.
Here’s a look at the all-time goal leader for all 31 NHL franchises, plus each team’s all-time runner-up and active leader.
1. Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings: 786 goals
Mr. Hockey also scored 174 goals across seven WHL seasons – when he was in his mid-40s and early 50s – and capped his career with 15 goals as a 52-year-old for the Hartford Whalers in his final NHL season in 1979-80. What a specimen.
Runner-up: Steve Yzerman (692 goals)
Active leader: Darren Helm (109 goals)
2. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals: 706 goals
Ovechkin is one of three active players to lead their franchise in all-time goal-scoring. He has Gretzky’s NHL goal record in his long-range sights, but he’ll have to pass Howe first.
Runner-up: Peter Bondra (472 goals)
Active leader: Alex Ovechkin (706 goals)
3. Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins: 690 goals
The Penguins have had some of the game’s all-time greatest players, but none of them can compete with Lemieux’s 690 goals in 915 games. Sidney Crosby ranks second on the Pens with 462 goals in 984 games, Jaromir Jagr had 439 goals in 806 games with Pittsburgh and Evgeni Malkin has 416 goals in 907 games.
Runner-up: Sidney Crosby (462 goals)
Active leader: Sidney Crosby (462 goals)
4. Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche: 625 goals
Sakic easily outdistances the franchise’s early Nordiques contingent of Michel Goulet (456), Peter Stastny (380) and Anton Stastny (252) as well as the Avalanche chapter of Milan Hejduk (375), Peter Forsberg (217) and Alex Tanguay (167). Gabriel Landeskog (198) holds a slim lead over Nathan MacKinnon (190) for the Avs’ active lead.
Runner-up: Michel Goulet (456 goals)
Active leader: Gabriel Landeskog (198 goals)
5. Bobby Hull, Chicago Blackhawks: 604 goals
Hull didn’t invent the slapshot, but he was one of the very first to do a lot of damage with it. With Hull and Stan Mikita (541), the Blackhawks are one of five NHL franchises with two 500-goal scorers (also Detroit, Los Angeles, Montreal and the New York Islanders).
Runner-up: Stan Mikita (541 goals)
Active leader: Patrick Kane (389 goals)
6. Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers: 583 goals
Gretzky had 40 goals (and 149 points) in 64 games in 1987-88, making it the least productive of his nine record-smashing seasons in Edmonton. So the Oilers traded him to L.A. that summer. Ryan-Nugent Hopkins (169 goals) holds the active lead, but Leon Draisaitl (168) and Connor McDavid (162) are coming up fast.
Runner-up: Jari Kurri (474 goals)
Active leader: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (169 goals)
7. Mike Bossy, New York Islanders: 573 goals
Bossy began his NHL career with nine consecutive 50-goal seasons – including five 60-goal seasons – then scored 38 times in 63 games during an injury-ravaged final campaign in 1986-87. For my money, he’s the best pure scorer the game has ever seen.
Runner-up: Bryan Trottier (500 goals)
Active leader: Anders Lee (172 goals)
8. Mike Modano, Dallas Stars: 557 goals
The highest-scoring U.S.-born player in NHL history is miles ahead of North Stars gunner Brian Bellows (342), who sits No. 2 on the franchise’s goal list.
Runner-up: Brian Bellows (342 goals)
Active leader: Jamie Benn (300 goals)
9. Luc Robitaille, Los Angeles Kings: 557 goals
Robitaille scored seven more goals in a Kings uniform than Marcel Dionne for the closest 1-2 finish in the league. Gretzky cracked the top 10 with 246 goals for L.A.
Runner-up: Marcel Dionne (550 goals)
Active leader: Anze Kopitar (333 goals)
10. Johnny Bucyk, Boston Bruins: 545 goals
Bucyk’s most productive campaign during his 21 seasons with the Bruins came when he scored 51 goals (and 116 points) as a 35-year-old in 1970-71. Ray Bourque (395) and Bobby Orr (264) both made Boston’s all-time top 10 as defensemen.
Runner-up: Phil Esposito (459 goals)
Active leader: Patrice Bergeron (352 goals)
11. Maurice Richard, Montreal Canadiens: 544 goals
The first NHL player to score 50 goals in a season and reach 500 career goals, Richard retired in 1960 as the league’s all-time leading goal-scorer with 544. The Canadiens are the only franchise with three 500-goal men: Richard, Guy Lafleur (518) and Jean Beliveau (507). Two other Habs stars scored 400-plus: Yvan Cournoyer (428) and Steve Shutt (408).
Runner-up: Guy Lafleur (518 goals)
Active leader: Brendan Gallagher (173 goals)
12. Brett Hull, St. Louis Blues: 527 goals
The owner of the NHL’s most prolific non-Gretzky goal-scoring season tallied 86 times in 1990-91 – and his 72-goal effort the previous season ranks ninth all-time.
Runner-up: Bernie Federko (352 goals)
Active leader: Vladimir Tarasenko (214 goals)
13. Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames: 525 goals
Iginla posted 11 straight 30-goal seasons with the Flames, including two 40-goal campaigns and two 50-goal efforts.
Runner-up: Theoren Fleury (364 goals)
Active leader: Sean Monahan (194 goals)
14. Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks: 518 goals
Marleau has more than twice as many goals for the Sharks as Joe Thornton (251), his longtime running mate in San Jose.
Runner-up: Joe Pavelski (355 goals)
Active leader: Logan Couture (256 goals)
15. Gilbert Perreault, Buffalo Sabres: 512 goals
The franchise’s first-ever draft pick in 1970 still stands up as the best offensive player the Sabres have ever produced.
Runner-up: Richard Martin (382 goals)
Active leader: Jack Eichel (137 goals)
16. Teemu Selanne, Anaheim Ducks: 457 goals
After breaking into the NHL with a record-setting 76 goals as a rookie with the original Winnipeg Jets, Selanne was traded to Anaheim a few years later for Oleg Tverdovsky and Chad Kilger.
Runner-up: Corey Perry (372 goals)
Active leader: Ryan Getzlaf (274 goals)
17. Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators: 426 goals
You didn’t think it was going to be Alexei Yashin (218), did you?
Runner-up: Jason Spezza (251 goals)
Active leader: Bobby Ryan (107 goals)
18. Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning: 422 goals
Stamkos joins Ovechkin and Vegas’ William Karlsson as one of three active players to lead their franchise in all-time goals.
Runner-up: Vincent Lecavalier (383 goals)
Active leader: Steven Stamkos (422 goals)
19. Bill Barber, Philadelphia Flyers: 420 goals
Perhaps you were expecting to see Bobby Clarke atop the Flyers’ list, but he comes in fourth at 358, behind Barber, Brian Propp (369) and Tim Kerr (363). Eric Lindros (290) ranks eighth in franchise history, while his ‘Legion of Doom’ linemate John LeClair (333) sits fifth.
Runner-up: Brian Propp (369 goals)
Active leader: Claude Giroux (257 goals)
20. Mats Sundin, Toronto Maple Leafs: 420 goals
Despite their Original Six longevity, the Leafs don’t have a 500-goal scorer. In fact, Sundin is the franchise’s only 400-goal man, and only three other players ever surpassed 300 goals for Toronto: Darryl Sittler (389), Dave Keon (365) and Ron Ellis (332). Keep your eye on that Matthews kid, though.
Runner-up: Darryl Sittler (389 goals)
Active leader: Auston Matthews (158 goals)
21. Patrik Elias, New Jersey Devils: 408 goals
Only three players have ever scored more than 200 goals for the defense-first Devils: Elias, John MacLean (347) and Bobby Holik (202).
Runner-up: John MacLean (347 goals)
Active leader: Travis Zajac (195 goals)
22. Rod Gilbert, New York Rangers: 406 goals
Like the Leafs, the Rangers don’t have a 500-goal man despite their Original Six headstart. In fact, Gilbert is their only 400-goal guy and Jean Ratelle (386) is the only other Blueshirt to eclipse 300 goals. Adam Graves (280) sits third on the Rangers’ all-time list.
Runner-up: Jean Ratelle (386 goals)
Active leader: Chris Kreider (157 goals)
23. Shane Doan, Arizona Coyotes: 402 goals
His best season was a 31-goal effort, but Doan was a model of 20-plus goal consistency during the course of his 21-year career with the original Winnipeg Jets and then Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes. Runner-up Dale Hawerchuk never played a minute in Arizona. The Coyotes are the only team whose active leader is a defenseman – Oliver Ekman-Larsson (125).
Runner-up: Dale Hawerchuk (379 goals)
Active leader: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (125 goals)
24. Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks: 393 goals
It’s a who’s who of all-time Canucks behind the goal-scoring Sedin twin: Markus Naslund (346), Trevor Linden (318), Stan Smyl (262), Pavel Bure (254), Tony Tanti (250) and Henrik Sedin (240).
Runner-up: Markus Naslund (346 goals)
Active leader: Bo Horvat (120 goals)
25. Ron Francis, Carolina Hurricanes: 382 goals
Francis, whose NHL career spanned 23 seasons, spent his first 10 big-league campaigns with the Hartford Whalers and later played six years with Carolina. Eric Staal (322), Kevin Dineen (250), Blaine Stoughton (219) and Jeff Skinner (204) are the franchise’s other 200-plus goal-scorers.
Runner-up: Eric Staal (322 goals)
Active leader: Justin Williams (128 goals)
26. Ilya Kovalchuk, Winnipeg Jets: 328 goals
Well, this is awkward. Kovalchuk never played a second for Winnipeg, having been a one-man scoring machine for the Atlanta Thrashers. Bryan Little, a Thrashers/Jets cross-over, is both the franchise’s all-time runner-up and active leader, though Blake Wheeler (214) and Mark Scheifele (180) are closing in.
Runner-up: Bryan Little (217 goals)
Active leader: Bryan Little (217 goals)
27. Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets: 289 goals
Speaking of one-man scoring machines for hard-luck expansion franchises, Nash was the lone bright light for a long time in Columbus. Only six players have scored 100-plus goals for the Blue Jackets.
Runner-up: Cam Atkinson (198 goals)
Active leader: Cam Atkinson (198 goals)
28. Marian Gaborik, Minnesota Wild: 219 goals
No doubt, Gaborik is the best goal-scorer to ever wear the Wild jersey. Mikko Koivu (205) is within sight of Gaborik’s mark but the team captain is a pending UFA this summer. Third-place Zach Parise (192) is signed for five more seasons, however.
Runner-up: Mikko Koivu (205 goals)
Active leader: Mikko Koivu (205 goals)
29. David Legwand, Nashville Predators: 210 goals
The Preds’ original draft pick only reached the 20-goal plateau twice during his 14 seasons in Nashville. Several current Predators are on track to eventually overtake Legwand, including Filip Forsberg (166), Craig Smith (162), Viktor Arvidsson (117) and perhaps even defenseman Roman Josi (109).
Runner-up: Filip Forsberg (166 goals)
Active leader: Filip Forsberg (166 goals)
30. Olli Jokinen, Florida Panthers: 188 goals
The Panthers are the only non-Vegas NHL franchise without a 200-goal scorer. Linemates Aleksander Barkov (155) and Jonathan Huberdeau (148) should break that barrier before too long, however.
Runner-up: Scott Mellanby (157 goals)
Active leader: Aleksander Barkov (155 goals)
31. William Karlsson, Vegas Golden Knights: 82 goals
He’s got a long way to go to catch Gordie.
Runner-up: Jonathan Marchessault (74 goals)
Third place: Reilly Smith (68 goals)