Man, do I love the look of those old 1979-80 cards, glad O-Pee-Chee went back to it this year.
Mr. Malkin currently has 44 assisits through 36 games, this pace translates to 100 assists exactly. I realize it's still early, but if he manages to keep up his pace, he will be the only gentleman NOT named Gretzky, Lemieux or Orr to achieve this. Gretzky topped 100 assists in eleven different seasons, consecutively of course, topping out at 163 in 1986. Lemieux had 114 in 1989, and Orr 102 in 1971...that's it. A few have come close, adam Oates with 97 in 84 games in 1993, Joe Thornton with 96 a few years back and Pat LaFontaine and Doug Gilmour both notching 95 in 1993.
It seems improbable that Malkin can keep up this pace however. In averaging 1.22 assists/game this year, he is nearly doubling his two season career average of 0.694/game. One would think his pal Sidney Crosby would have been the one making a run at 100 assists, and he may very well do it one of these years. Crosby has a three year career average of 0.916 A/GP, and this year is actually ahead of that at 0.944.
I'd be tempted to predict that Crosby will even end up this season with more assists than Malkin, but it will be intersesting to watch a run at 100.