Among the multitude of milestones within reach for NHL players and coaches this season, New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur stands alone.
"Hopefully, (breaking the records) will happen more sooner than later, so we can put it to rest, move on and raise the bar for the next guy," Brodeur said. "But I'm just happy that I'm able to play at the level that I like to play. I realize the records I'm approaching are something to be recognized, that's for sure, but I don't play for these things -- I play to help my team win a Stanley Cup."
After becoming just the second goaltender in NHL history to reach the 500-victory mark following his 44 triumphs in 2007-08, the four-time Vezina Trophy winner enters 2008-09 needing 14 wins to surpass all-time leader Patrick Roy's record of 551, and eight shutouts to overtake the legendary Terry Sawchuk's standard of 103. He also can join Roy as the only goalies to play 1,000 games if he suits up 32 times, and he can pass Roy's mark of 1,029 games if he plays 62 games -- Brodeur hasn't played fewer than 62 games in a full season since he was a rookie in 1993-94.
Brodeur also could break records for most shots faced -- he's 2,156 shy of Curtis Joseph's record of 26,412 -- and minutes played -- he's 3,018 away from Roy's mark of 60,225.
In addition to Brodeur's pending achievements, be on the lookout for several other prominent marks sure to make headlines in 2008-09. Here are a few:
Ilya Kovalchuk, Atlanta Thrashers -- The left wing is within reach of three milestones, including games played (needs 34 to reach 500), goals (46 from 300) and points (34 from 500).
Curtis Joseph, Toronto Maple Leafs -- The next victory by the 41-year-old goalie will be No. 450 of his 18-season career. Joseph, who signed with Toronto as a free agent July 1, will spot Toronto starter Vesa Toskala this season. In 922 career games, Joseph has a 2.78 goals-against average, .907 save percentage and 51 shutouts.
Lindy Ruff, Buffalo Sabres -- The longest-tenured coach in the NHL needs just three victories to reach 400 for his career. Ruff's 397 triumphs in 10 seasons rank first among all current NHL coaches.
Sergei Fedorov, Washington Capitals -- With 472 career goals, Fedorov is just two shy of surpassing fellow countryman Alexander Mogilny for most career goals by a Russian-born player. The 38-year-old Fedorov, who will be starting season No. 18, has played 1,196 games. Mogilny posted 473 career goals in 990 games.
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins -- Expect the center to score goal No. 100 not long after the season begins -- he needs just one to reach the century mark. Crosby also is five assists short of 200 and six points shy of 300.
Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning -- Entering his 10th season, Lecavalier is just 27 goals shy of 300 for his career. He has scored at least 25 goals in six times, including the last five consecutive.
Martin Biron, Philadelphia Flyers -- The veteran goalie is two shutouts away from 25 for his career.
Jamie Langenbrunner, New Jersey Devils -- The Devils captain is 24 points shy of 500 for his career.
Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames -- The veteran of 12 NHL seasons needs 61 points to overtake Al MacInnis (822 points in 803 games) for second place on the Flames' all-time scoring list, and he's 68 shy of franchise leader Theo Fleury (830 points in 791 games). He already owns franchise records with 374 goals and 860 games played.
Terry Murray, Los Angeles Kings -- Hired as the Kings' coach in July, Murray is 63 games short of 800 as a head coach in the League. Murray, who replaced Marc Crawford, also has coached the Washington Capitals, Florida Panthers and Philadelphia Flyers.
Marty Turco, Dallas Stars -- Entering his eighth season, Turco (382 games, 21,650 minutes), likely will supplant Cesare Maniago (420 games, 24,228 minutes) for the most games and minutes played in Stars/Minnesota North Stars history. He already owns the records for wins (207), shutouts (33) and assists (13).
Minnesota Wild -- The club currently boasts the longest sellout streak in the NHL at 321 games. The Wild have sold out every home game played in club history, including 287 regular-season contests, 21 preseason games and 13 playoff matches in its first seven NHL seasons. The Colorado Avalanche own the longest sellout streak in NHL history at 487 games, from Nov. 9, 1995 to Oct. 14, 2006.
Shane Doan, Phoenix Coyotes -- The right wing needs to play in 17 games to become the third player in Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets franchise history with 900 games played and, with 68 appearances, will supplant Thomas Steen (950) for second place. Doan also needs just one more game-winning goal to become the all-time leader with 41. Doan currently even is with Keith Tkachuk with 40 game winners.
Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings -- The six-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman is 62 points shy of 1,000 for his career.
Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche -- The veteran center needs just 27 assists to match Mario Lemieux (1,033) for 10th on the all-time list.
Contact Mike Morreale at email@example.com.