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Milestones within reach in 2016-17

Marian Hossa, Patrick Marleau closing in on 500 goals; Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby nearing 1,000 points

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor

It's always exciting to see rookies like Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, get their first NHL goals. Although rookies build their careers from the ground up, a number of veterans are closing in on some major career achievements.

Reaching an NHL milestone means you're good at what you do, and that you've been doing it for a long time. Here are 16 players and coaches who can achieve significant career milestones this season:

Jaromir Jagr, Florida Panthers

He's 44, but Jagr is coming off a 27-goal, 66-point season with the Panthers and begins 2016-17 with 1,868 points, third on the NHL's all-time list. Although Jagr remains nearly 1,000 points behind Wayne Gretzky, the NHL's all-time scoring leader (2,857), he is coming up fast on runner-up Mark Messier, who has 1,887. Jagr should take over second place before Christmas, and not too long after that, should become the second player in NHL history to reach 1,900 points.

Jagr also begins the season with 749 NHL goals. One more will make him the third player in NHL history with 750 (Gretzky, 894; Gordie Howe, 801).

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

After racing past the 500-goal mark last season, Ovechkin enters the season with 966 points, including 525 goals, all with the Capitals. If Ovechkin able to produce at his career rate of 1.15 points per game, he should reach 1,000 points sometime in early December. He enters his 12th NHL season ranked eighth among active scorers.

Ovechkin also needs five more power-play goals to become the 18th player to reach 200.

Video: PIT@WSH, Gm 5: Ovechkin fires a one-timer for PPG

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

Crosby and Ovechkin have been linked since they arrived in the NHL together in 2005, so perhaps it's appropriate that they should reach the 1,000-point mark in the same season. Crosby has 938 points in 707 games (1.33 points per game), all with the Penguins. If he stays healthy and continues to put up points at that pace, he'll reach his latest milestone before the All-Star break.

Crosby and his teammates also have something to shoot for: They'll try to become the NHL's first back-to-back Stanley Cup champion since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998.

Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks

Hossa could become the 44th member of the NHL's 500-goal club as soon as Wednesday, when the Blackhawks begin their season against the St. Louis Blues at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN). The 37-year-old has 499 goals after scoring 13 last season, the lowest full-season total of his career. 

Hossa also needs 10 assists to reach 600 and 11 points to reach 1,100 in his career.

Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks

Marleau has played his entire career with the Sharks and holds their record with 481 goals, meaning that he needs 19 to reach 500. He had 25 last season and has scored at least 19 goals in every full season since 2000-01. He'll need more time than Hossa, but Marleau is likely to follow him into the 500-goal club.

Shane Doan, Arizona Coyotes

The Coyotes' captain, who turned 40 on Monday, should become the first player in franchise history to score 400 goals. Doan, who began his career when the franchise was still in Winnipeg, broke Dale Hawerchuk's career marks for goals and points last season. He enters the season with 396 goals despite never scoring more than 31 in a season (2008-09); however, he's coming off a 28-goal season at age 39.

Video: ARI@VAN: Doan tips in PPG on the doorstep

Rick Nash, New York Rangers

The first player picked in the 2002 NHL Draft is right behind Doan on the way to 400 goals; he starts the season with 393. Nash, 32, has gotten those goals in 922 games, more than 500 fewer than Doan (1,466), and has had three 40-goal seasons, including an NHL career-high 42 in 2014-15. He'll have to rebound after the worst full season of his career; injuries limited him to 60 games in 2015-16 and he scored 15 goals.

Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks

Perhaps lost in the shuffle is the fact that Henrik Sedin could reach 1,000 points before either Ovechkin or Crosby. The Canucks' captain enters this season with 970 points (in 1,166 games) and should join the 1,000-point club before the All-Star break. Twin brother Daniel, who's played 23 fewer games than Henrik, could also reach 1,000 points this season; he has 942 and finished last season with 61.

Joe Thornton, Sharks

Thornton, 37, could reach as many as three milestones this season. With 964 assists, he's almost certain to become the 13th player in NHL history to reach 1,000. If he can match his total of 63 last season, he'll move past Joe Sakic into 12th place on the all-time list. Thornton is coming off an 82-point season; he needs 59 points to become the 20th player in League history to reach 1,400 points. 

Thornton is also 23 goals shy of 400. However, he hasn't scored that many since getting 25 in 2008-09.

Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild

Parise leads a group of players who could reach the 300-goal mark this season. Parise starts the season with 299, four more than Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin. New Jersey Devils forward Michael Cammalleri needs 23 goals to reach 300, and Pittsburgh's Phil Kessel needs 27, a total he's surpassed five times in his NHL career. Sharks captain Joe Pavelski needs 34 goals to reach 300; he's had 41, 37 and 38 in his past three seasons.

Video: WPG@MIN: Parise redirects puck for power-play tally

Roberto Luongo, Florida Panthers

Luongo, 37, enters the season with 436 victories, the most among active goaltenders and seventh on the all-time list. A 20-win season (he had 35 for the Panthers in 2015-16) would move him up to fourth behind Martin Brodeur (691), Patrick Roy (551) and Ed Belfour (484). Luongo also enters the season with 72 shutouts; three more would make him the 11th goaltender in NHL history to reach 75.

Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers

The winningest goaltender in Rangers history could reach a couple of milestones this season. Lundqvist, who's won at least 30 games in each of his 10 full seasons in the League, needs 26 victories to become the 12th goalie in NHL history to reach 400 wins. A 34-win season would move him up to ninth on the all-time list. 

Lundqvist's first shutout this season will be the 60th of his NHL career. He's 17th in career shutouts and needs three to move into 16th place ahead of Hockey Hall of Fame member Turk Broda (62).

Jarome Iginla, Colorado Avalanche

Iginla, 39, passed the 600-goal mark last season; if he can match his total from last season (22) with the Avalanche, he will pass Sakic (625) for 15th on the all-time list. Iginla also needs 27 points to become the 34th player in NHL history to reach 1,300, and is 10 power-play goals short of 200. 

Jay Bouwmeester, St. Louis Blues

The 33-year-old defenseman would have reached an even 1,000 NHL games if he'd played all 82 last season. However, he missed 10 games, leaving him with 990 entering this season. He should become the 27th active player to play in 1,000 games sometime in early November. 

Also likely to play their 1,000th NHL games this season are forwards Chris Neil of the Ottawa Senators (973) and Jason Chimera of the New York Islanders (951). Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival (941) could get there, as could forward Radim Vrbata of the Coyotes (934).

Ken Hitchcock, Blues

Hitchcock, 64, has said this is last season as an NHL coach. He could end it as the third coach in NHL history to win at least 800 games. Hitchcock has 757 regular-season victories in a career that has seen him coach the Dallas Stars, Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets before coming to the Blues in 2011. He needs 43 wins to reach 800; the Blues have won 52, 51 and 49 games in the past three seasons, and they've won at least 43 times in each of Hitchcock's four full seasons in St. Louis.

Barry Trotz, Capitals

After leading the Capitals to 101 wins in his first two seasons, Trotz has climbed to ninth on the all-time list with 658 victories. He needs 42 more to become the sixth coach in NHL history to win 700 games; that would move him ahead of Dick Irvin, Pat Quinn and Mike Keenan.

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