Extra Than Mr. Hockey: Marleau Has Howe’s All-Time File Inside Attain
Patrick MarleauWe do not know when the 2020-21 NHL common season will start. We do not know what number of video games can be on the schedule. In reality, we do not even know for certain whether or not there can be an NHL season in any respect. But when there may be, we may see an historic change atop the league’s all-time games-played listing – Patrick Marleau, who just lately returned to his longtime San Jose Sharks, is poised to surpass Gordie Howe for the profession file. Marleau, who sits fifth all-time behind Howe, Mark Messier, Jaromir Jagr and Ron Francis, must play 45 video games to take over the No. 1 spot. Let’s check out the NHL’s prime 10 all-time and prime 10 lively leaders in video games performed.TOP 10 ALL-TIME NHL PLAYERS: GAMES PLAYEDGordie Howe 1,767Mark Messier 1,756Jaromir Jagr 1,733Ron Francis 1,731Patrick Marleau 1,723Mark Recchi 1,652Chris Chelios 1,651Dave Andreychuk 1,639Joe Thornton 1,636Scott Stevens 1,635Howe now: ‘Mr. Hockey’ performed within the NHL in 5 totally different many years, first suiting up with the Detroit Crimson Wings in 1946 and – many, many, a few years later – taking part in his last recreation with the Hartford Whalers in 1980 on the ripe outdated age of 52. (He performed all 80 video games and had 15 objectives and 41 factors in that last season.) Howe retired for 2 seasons within the early 1970s earlier than coming again to play six years within the WHA after which his NHL swan tune with the Whalers. In all, Howe performed 2,186 professional video games between the NHL and WHA, plus one other 235 video games within the playoffs. It is also price noting that the NHL season was solely 70 video games lengthy throughout most of Howe’s profession.Watch out for Shark: Marleau missed a grand complete of 28 video games in his first 11 seasons – after which he did not miss a single recreation within the subsequent 10 seasons. So, sure, he is 41 and shutting in on the tip of his profession, however he is additionally been an ironman throughout his 22 NHL campaigns. To not point out, the Sharks do not precisely have a loaded lineup, so there must be a spot for Marleau on most nights if he can keep wholesome. Which, as talked about, has by no means been an issue previously.Say it is so, Joe: Again in June, Joe Thornton had this to say about retirement: “I’ll in all probability play one other 10 years. We’ll wait and see, however I’m considering 5 to 10 (extra years). I received nothing else happening.” He was joking, after all. Or was he? Newly signed to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Thornton is the one different lively participant within the all-time prime 10, and he has a good shot at changing into simply the sixth participant in NHL historical past to skate in 1,700-plus video games. As a bonus, we get to see how large and bushy that greybeard can get for no less than yet one more yr.On the transfer: Not one of the all-time prime 10 gamers remained with the identical crew for the whole run of their prolific careers. The Detroit Crimson Wings’ Nicklas Lidstrom, who’s 13th all-time with 1,564 NHL video games, holds the file for essentially the most video games with just one franchise.Ring twice for Stanley: All the retired gamers within the all-time prime 10 gained the Stanley Cup. In reality, except for Dave Andreychuk, all the retired gamers gained the Cup a number of instances. Marleau and Thornton, in the meantime, are nonetheless searching for their first ring. However they should not quit hope. Andreychuk gained his first Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004 at age 40, which was additionally Howe’s age when he posted his one and solely 100-point season within the NHL. Previous guys can nonetheless do stuff. They only have to stretch a bit of first.TOP 10 ACTIVE NHL PLAYERS: GAMES PLAYEDPatrick Marleau 1,723Joe Thornton 1,636Zdeno Chara 1,553Eric Staal 1,240Dustin Brown 1,183Alex Ovechkin 1,152Ryan Suter 1,142Duncan Keith 1,138Jason Spezza 1,123Brent Seabrook 1,114Large probability for ‘Large Z’: Like Thornton, Zdeno Chara is seeking to land an NHL contract for the 2020-21 season, whether or not it is in Boston or, gasp, elsewhere. There’s just a few of massive “ifs” right here, however stick with us: if Chara finds a crew, and if the NHL schedule is 82 video games, and if Chara performs all 82 video games…he’d be at 1,635 profession video games, which might put him in a tie for 10th all-time with fellow blueline beast Scott Stevens. If this somewhat unlikely state of affairs involves move, he’d nonetheless want 16 video games to overhaul Chris Chelios (1,651 profession video games) for first place amongst defensemen. Thoughts the hole: When you get previous the 20-plus yr careers of Marleau, Thornton and Chara, you discover the comparatively youthful Eric Staal in fourth place amongst lively gamers in video games performed. Staal, who turns 36 on Oct. 29, may virtually play 4 full 82-game seasons and stay in fourth place, even when the three guys forward of him by no means play one other recreation. Staal, picked No. 2 total within the 2003 draft, was 11 years outdated when Chara went 56th total in 1996, and 12 years outdated when Thornton and Marleau went Nos. 1 and a pair of, respectively, in 1997.Russian machine by no means break: Alex Ovechkin, with 706 profession objectives, wants 189 extra to interrupt Wayne Gretzky’s NHL file of 894. It is loopy however he is received a shot – 4 extra seasons within the 45-50 vary would do it. If it involves move, he’d be nearing 1,500 profession video games – and, assuming he is nonetheless with the Capitals, he’d be inside attain of Lidstrom’s all-time mark of essentially the most NHL video games with just one franchise. Ovechkin is 35 and has scored 48 or extra objectives in six of the previous seven seasons.