This will obviously get more and more difficult (and costly) as I work my way backwards, but I could get the 2000-2011 cards cheap enough that combined with what I already had in the collection I was able to knock out this post for less than $10 shipped (Sportlots). Since I haven't purchased any 2011-12 cards at all, the Stamkos Artifacts card above was part of my purchase. I think it looks alright considering it cost me 35 cents. So, let's work our way backwards and see who's topped the 50 mark since the turn of the century...
Perry was the lone 50 goal man last season. He reached the plateau in impressive fashion with goals 48, 49 and 50 coming in a single game against the Sharks (one of the last few Ducks games of the season). Already had this Pinnacle card in the collection and it seemed like an appropriate photo.
Stamkos will likely score again this year and come in with a total greater than 50, but in going through this list it's amazing just how many guys managed exactly 50. Will Ovechkin ever score 50 again? I say no.
2011-12 will be Stamkos' second 50 goal season. In 2009-10 he recorded 51, which was good enough to share the NHL lead with this guy...
I'm not a Penguins fan but I really, really, really wish that Sidney had been able to stay healthy these last couple of years. The guy just plain puts up points and wins whenever he's in the lineup. It's a shame to think of all the would-be Crosby highlights that we've missed out on. As a fan of an Eastern Conference team, I'll admit that I'm absolutely terrified at the prospect of facing the Pens in the playoffs this year.
Just a single 50 goal campaign in '08-09, familiar face Alexander Ovechkin. Someday I will complete this O-Pee-Chee retro set...
The Flames' captain appeared in every game for his team in 2007-08 and scored exactly 50 times. He will appear again on this list.
I got a weird feeling looking at this card and remembering that the Atlanta Thrashers are already a "former" team. Ilya goes down as the team's only 50 goal scorer. He will also appear again on this list.
Ovechkin bested both of the other 50 goal guys in 2007-08 with 65 goals! This was the highest single season total since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96, and hasn't been topped since. Like Kovalchuk and Iginla, Ovechkin will also appear here again (and already has twice!).
Heatley's another guy who reached the milestone exactly.
Lecavalier just beat out Heatley by 2 goals, with each player appearing in all 82 games for their team.
2005-06 saw the most 50 goal scorers of the decade, with 5 players reaching the feat. Heatley landed on 50 exactly, as he would again the next season.
Alex Ovechkin - 52 Goals in 81 Games (Rookie Season)
The Great 8 topped 50 in his very first season. I don't own any Ovechkin rookies, and I wasn't about to spend too much on one for this collection, so I settled on this Parkhurst card. This one seemed more appropriate anyway given that it pays tribute to Alex becoming the second rookie in history to score 50+ goals and 100+ points.
Ilya Kovalchuk - 52 Goals in 78 Games
Jaromir Jagr - 54 Goals in 82 Games
2005-06 was the third time that Jagr hit 50 in a season. He would have captured the Rocket Richard trophy in '05-06 if it weren't for this guy:
Jonathan Cheechoo - 56 Goals in 82 Games
Jonathan is probably the one name on this list for the 2000s that your average hockey fan might not guess. Cheechoo's numbers plummeted extremely quickly. His 56 goals in '05-06 were due in large part to playing on a line with Joe Thornton. Over the next three years his goal totals would drop to 37, then to 23, then to 12. San Jose then dealt him to Ottawa where he put up just 5 goals in 61 games in 2009-10. He hasn't played an NHL game since, and likely never will again. Talk about a quick decline...
No games played due to NHL lockout...
Nobody hit the 50-goal mark in 03-04. Jarome Iginla, Ilya Kovalchuk and Rick Nash each tallied 41 to pace the league.
Milan Hejduk - 50 Goals in 82 Games
The lone 50 goal scorer in 2002-03 was Milan Hejduk. He's racked up 370 goals and counting in his NHL career, and he's played that entire career with Colorado. Hejduk may be nearing the end though, as he's on pace for his lowest goal total this year since his rookie season in 1998-99.
Jarome Iginla - 52 Goals in 82 Games
Jaromir Jagr - 52 Goals in 81 Games
Three of my favorite childhood players all reached the 50 goal milestone in the first season after the turn of the century. Jagr scored 52 with the Pens...
Joe Sakic - 54 Goals in 82 Games
Sakic's 54 goals in 2000-01 were the most he'd record in a single season over the course of his career...
Pavel Bure - 59 Goals in 82 Games
The Russian Rocket led the league in 2000-01, lighting the lamp 59 times. Pavel topped 50 quite a few times, his 437 career goals are very impressive when you consider he played only 702 games. I think had he stayed healthier he could have definitely been a Hall-of-Famer.
So there are your 50 goal scorers from 2000-01 through the present season. Next up I'll have a significantly longer post on the 1990s. Hope you enjoyed!