Dion Phaneuf was inducted into the "1,000 Games Club" on Wednesday during a special pregame ceremony, becoming the 326th player in the league to reach the milestone.
Phaneuf played his official 1,000th game on the road in Nashville, so the Kings honored the forward at the Kings first game back at STAPLES as they faced off against the Colorado Avalanche.
The 6'4" forward had previously suited up for the Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators before being acquired by the Kings in February 2018. He was picked up from the Senators, along with Nate Thompson, in exchange for Marian Gaborik and Nick Shore.
Video: Dion Phaneuf's 1,000th NHL Game
"It's a lot of emotions. You sit there and think about a lot of things," said Phaneuf, reflecting on his milestone.
"I've enjoyed every minute of the journey. I want to continue to play as long as I can. I don't take it for granted."
Phaneuf is known as one of the most hated players in the league if you're on the opposing team, but the most loved if he's wearing your team's colors. Fortunately for us, he's playing his 1,000th game in a Kings uniform.
The Kings surprised Phaneuf and his wife Elisha with an all expense paid trip to Colorado for their family. They also gifted a beautiful pair of earrings to Elisha, which we have a feeling may end up on daughter Zaphire one day. Plus, every Kings players chipped in to purchase a Rolex watch for their teammate.
We think it's safe to say that they appreciate having him around the lockerroom.
Although he may be controversial at times, everyone can admit Phaneuf's been a dominant figure in the league since being drafted to the Calgary Flames 14 years ago. He's received just over 1,300 penalty minutes in his 1,000 games... which exemplifies his toughness and physical presence on the ice.
"He'll be the first to tell you that he probably has a lot of enemies around this league," Alec Martinez said to the LA Times. "But he's certainly a great guy to have in our room. You don't necessarily like playing against him."
"He's always fired up," LaDue said to the LA Times. "He's always the one getting the boys going before the game … he's the one who's jacked up to play every day. We need that. He's a great locker room guy."
Phaneuf spoke briefly before the game, thanking his teammates for the role they've played to get him here.
In addition to his teammates, he recognized his family and the many fans, trainers and coaches who have supported him along the way.
"I'm very honored and humbled to be here," Phaneuf said.