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Dion Phaneuf Reaches Milestone, Plays in His 1,000th NHL Game

'I owe a lot to the game. It's been great to me and I've enjoyed the journey.'

by LA Kings @LAKings / LAKings.com

As the LA Kings faced-off against the Nashville Predators on Saturday, Dion Phaneuf hit the ice for his 1,000th NHL game. 

And it was in the same building he was drafted in. 

Tweet from @RStanleyNHL: Dion Phaneuf will play in his 1,000th NHL game tonight. It all started in this building in the 2003 NHL Draft.

Tweet from @LAKings: 👏 Dion 👏 Phaneuf 👏 has 👏 now 👏 played 👏 in 👏 1,000 👏 NHL 👏 games 👏Congratulations, Dion! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/XtL2D0hSPe

"It's been incredible and I'm very lucky to do what I do and I'm very lucky to do it for as long as I have, and I want to continue to do it, so I owe a lot to the game," Phaneuf said to LA Kings Insider. "It's been great to me and I've enjoyed the journey."

Tweet from @LAKings: When you're about to play in you're 1,000th NHL game, but you have to make sure that little kid gets a puck during warmups.Dion Phaneuf forever ������������#GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/JYOYwoYjqi

He credits his lengthy career to his various support systems that include family, coaching staff, training staff, equipment managers and teammates throughout his journey.

"It's a special bond with your teammates and the training staff."

Tweet from @FoxSportsWest: Congratulations to Mr. 1,000!Dion Phaneuf reflects on what it's taken to reach the Silver Stick milestone @LAKings | #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/sJT432H7ec

Tweet from @NHL: 1,000 game ain't no walk in the park. Congrats to you, Dion Phaneuf. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/luGPrbs2yx

Phaneuf is apparently a bit superstitious, so his family wasn't in attendance at the Bridgestone Arena. But they were surely watching from home.

"My parents were in this building when I was drafted, so it's kind of cool," he said to LA Kings Insider . "I was talking to my dad on the way over and he said, 'It's pretty cool you're playing there.'" 

Even though Phaneuf is known to be a hard-hitter on the ice, his professionalism and kindness has gained him the opposite reputation off the ice.

In Calgary, where he was drafted, he started giving tickets to children who were in the hospital. His charity work later turned into "Phaneuf's Friends" while he was playing in Toronto. 

"Phaneuf's Friends was something that to me was a very important thing and we're in a position to give back and to allow younger children, children that are in the hospital fighting a much bigger fight than we go through playing this great game," said Phaneuf. 

"So just to get them out of the hospital and see a smile on their face meant everything to me."

Tweet from @davejosephla: Congratulations Dion Phaneuf on your 1,000th #NHL game @LAKings #GoKingsGo

Tweet from @JimFox19: Congratulations Dion Phaneuf! #1000GamesPlayed CAL/TOR/OTT @LAKings This morning he said he has faced many tough players...none tougher than Chris Neil. He also wanted to thank all the people that work behind the scenes Trainers Equip Managers Salute! pic.twitter.com/V7ipRSSLZY

Phaneuf will be honored for reaching the 1,000 Game milestone at STAPLES Center on Wednesday as the Kings face the Colorado Avalanche.

Be there to celebrate with him!

Tweet from @NHLPA: D1���0���0���0���N pic.twitter.com/CqR2OWA56q

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