It doesn’t matter which sport you’re talking about; there are always special clubs that competitors can earn the right to be a member of, with one of them often based on appearances made. For example, there are currently forty active players in the 1,000 games club in the NHL, a number that will undoubtedly grow over the next few seasons.
If you know a thing or two about the National Hockey League, you’re sure to know who Patrick Marleau is. The 42-year-old, who recently left the San Jose Sharks, is the man who has made the most NHL appearances in history, with 1,779 games played to his name.
Apart from Marleau and fellow Canadian Joe Thornton, who represents the Florida Panthers, there are no other active players who have breached the 1,700 games mark. However, both are elder statesmen of the game. So, if you want to bet on their NHL games, you best do so quickly.
When you look at who could challenge Marleau and Thornton, you could suggest it will be Zdeno Chara in the short term. But, it’s worth noting that while the Slovak isn’t too far behind them in terms of games played, he is a couple of years older than the two Canadians, so it may be a challenge that is too difficult to complete.
Of course, outside the current top three in the 1,000 games club, there are tons of players who are a lot younger, but they have also played significantly fewer games. Eric Staal, Ryan Suter and Alexander Ovechkin all have five years plus on those above them in the rankings, and they could quite easily find themselves in a similar position as the likes of Chara and Thornton in the future if things go to plan.
The 1,000 games club is one that every NHL player dreams of being a part of. And, while collecting as many appearances as possible when you’re in there is essential. It’s the actual getting there that is going to take time and dedication. However, there are many current players who are very much on the brink of doing so. And, it will be a case of when and not if.
Alex Goligoski, the defenseman for the Minnesota Wild and Joshua Bailey, who is currently with the New York Islanders, are less than ten games away from hitting the magic 1,000. In Goligoski’s case, he is just four shy of the total, while Bailey needs a further seven appearances to make it into the 1,000 games club. You’d also expect Evgeni Malkin (981), David Perron (973), Sam Gagner (967), Alexander Edler (966) and Derick Brassard (951) to follow suit.
We will close with a mention of John Tavares, who currently plies his trade in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The thirty-one-year-old, who has registered 949 games so far, has an advantage over many. And that is, he’s close to reaching 1,000 appearances, and he was born in 1990. Therefore, he has plenty of time to add to his already impressive tally.