The NHL is full of players with different experiences, from long-time veterans like Corey Perry to rookies who are just entering the league and playing their first games, like Matty Beniers. This is what makes teams in the NHL so interesting, because you need a balance of experience, as well as youth, to achieve the greatest trophy of them all, the Stanley Cup.
Obviously, the more games under your belt, the higher chances you have of reaching the cup. And this past week has been a milestone for a couple of players in the NHL, who have all won a Stanley Cup in their careers.
Starting off with Phil Kessel and how he just recently broke the ironman streak by playing his 1000th game in a row. He hasn’t missed a game since November 3rd, 2009, which is an incredible 13-year span of suiting up for every game he was supposed to. But Phil the Thrill played his most important games in the 2016 and 2017 playoffs with the Pittsburgh Penguins after winning back-to-back Stanley Cups with the team.
The Golden Knights gifted Phil Kessel a custom jacket ahead of his 1000th consecutive game. 🥵
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 18, 2022
Now sticking with Pittsburgh, Evgeni Malkin, also known as Geno, has also reached the 1000-game milestone this past weekend. Malkin had already reached the 1000-point mark before hitting 1000 games, after beginning his career in 2006 with the Penguins. Crosby and Malkin are the only players on the Penguins to reach 1000 games. Malkin’s also been to numerous Stanley Cup Finals and has three cups to show for it, with back-to-back wins in 2016 and 2017, with ironman Phil Kessel, and in 2009 when he won the MVP, as well as his first-ever Stanley Cup.
Nikita Malkin reading the starting line up for his Dad’s 1000th game > pic.twitter.com/emZfhLuAWs
— Spittin' Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) November 21, 2022
Another player who was a part of the winning 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins is Alex Goligoski, who also reached the 1000-game milestone last week. This defenceman began his career with Pittsburgh in 2007 and has played on three different teams since. But achieved this huge milestone with the Minnesota Wild, even scoring the winning goal in overtime on his celebration night. It was an emotional night for Alex and his family that night, to say the least.
Give it up for the Goose! 👏👏
— Bally Sports North (@BallySportsNOR) November 20, 2022
1000 games played is more than 12 full regular seasons and is a true achievement in a league like the NHL where injuries, business, and situations play a vital role and can put a hold on your career. These three guys’ careers truly speak for themselves, and they should be especially proud of this milestone as they join only 357 other players in the history of the league to reach that mark.