LAS VEGAS — Patrick Marleau surpassed “Mr. Hockey” for probably the most video games performed in NHL historical past.
Marleau skated in his 1,768th profession recreation to interrupt Gordie Howe’s file when the San Jose Sharks took on the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday evening.
Although it was on the highway, an exuberant pro-Golden Knights crowd gave Marleau a rousing welcome throughout warmups.
GOLDEN KNIGHTS TOP DUCKS TO MOVE INTO TIE ATOP WEST DIVISION
Marleau’s spouse, Christina, and 4 sons have been in attendance, which wouldn’t be doable in San Jose, the place followers nonetheless aren’t allowed in the course of the pandemic.
“My spouse, I couldn’t have executed it with out her over all these years,” an emotional Marleau mentioned previous to San Jose’s morning skate. “She’s by far my largest supporter. I can’t thank her sufficient and I can’t thank the boys sufficient.
“My largest worry is that I don’t thank all people, that I’m going to overlook anyone. If I miss anyone, I’m so sorry, however I’ll ultimately, you realize, attempt to make it proper and thank all people that must be thanked. Simply very grateful.”
Over his profession, the 41-year-old Marleau has made 1,596 appearances with the Sharks, 164 with the Toronto Maple Leafs and an extra eight as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Howe performed in 1,767 regular-season video games and 419 extra within the World Hockey Affiliation, the latter of which aren’t acknowledged by the NHL.
“I really feel very lucky to have a entrance row seat for it,” mentioned Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer, who coached Marleau for two-plus seasons in San Jose. “I really feel lucky that I do know the person and the athlete having coached him. He was a gentleman. He was an excellent teammate. That’s gonna be a kind of issues I’ll have the ability to inform my grandkids about at some point, that not solely did I coach him, however I used to be there for that evening, fairly particular accomplishment.”
Throughout his nearly quarter-century profession, Marleau has 566 objectives, 1,196 factors, three All-Star appearances and two Olympic gold medals for Canada in 2010 and ’14.
CANUCKS TOP LEAFS Three-2 IN OT IN RETURN FROM COVID LAYOFF
The respect Marleau has established all through his profession was evident by the feedback of a number of Golden Knights, San Jose’s chief rival since Vegas entered the league in 2017. Each Marc-Andre Fleury and captain Mark Stone praised Marleau for his sturdiness via two eras of hockey, one the place gamers have been way more bodily at first of his profession, to the present state of the NHL, the place skaters are sooner and conditioned for a extra up-tempo fashion.
“That’s a bit unbelievable,” mentioned Fleury, no stranger to milestone moments after surpassing Corridor of Famer Ed Belfour for fourth on the NHL’s wins record final Wednesday.
“He’s been so constant all through his profession. He’s been an iron man. Didn’t get damage for lengthy durations of time. Yearly he’s all the time been an excellent participant, additionally. To hold in there that lengthy and play that many video games, it’s wonderful. He’s a man who’s very revered across the league.”
Marleau — who has performed via bouts with the flu, quite a few accidents and as soon as chartered a airplane to hitch his teammates in Nashville for a recreation in 2009 after the start of considered one of his sons — performed in his 899th consecutive recreation since final lacking a matchup when he was 29.
“You go battle with these guys day in and time out, you play towards them, and so they know the grind and know what it takes to play on this league,” an emotional Marleau mentioned. “For them to indicate their respects and have all these form phrases, it’s very humbling.”
Barring something uncommon, Marleau will play his 900th consecutive recreation in Las Vegas on Wednesday and would turn into the fourth participant ever to succeed in that mark.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM
“As a lot as you hate your opponent, as a lot as you wish to beat your opponent, you continue to respect your opponent,” Stone mentioned.
Till Marleau’s milestone second simply off the Las Vegas Strip, nobody has been in a position to attain a file many thought was unbreakable when Howe retired.
“They in all probability mentioned this about Gordie Howe as effectively, however I actually really imagine it’s a file that’s not going to be damaged,” San Jose coach Bob Boughner mentioned. “I don’t see anyone lasting that lengthy.”
Added Sharks teammate Erik Karlsson: “That is greater than a private milestone. I feel that this isn’t solely a historic second for Patty and this group, however I feel it’s historic for your entire league and each participant that has performed this recreation with or towards him or previous to his time.”
The sport on Monday was stopped early on for a congratulatory message from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman that was proven on video screens.
“To be merely talked about in the identical sentence as Gordie Howe is an achievement most hockey gamers can solely dream about,” Bettman mentioned. “To interrupt considered one of his data is historic.”
Marleau, who made his debut on Oct. 1, 1997, at age 18 years and 16 days — the youngest for any participant within the NHL since Lee Wharton debuted at 17 years, 81 days in 1945 for the Rangers — shouldn’t be the one skilled athlete to interrupt a big file in Las Vegas.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Corridor of Fame basketball participant Kareem Abdul-Jabbar drained his signature skyhook inside UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Heart on April 5, 1984, towards the Utah Jazz, to surpass Wilt Chamberlain’s 31,419 factors to turn into the NBA’s profession main scorer. Abdul-Jabbar concluded his profession with 38,387 factors.