The list of accomplishments is long and numerous for Bill Guerin since the New Jersey Devils made him the fifth-overall selection in the 1989 NHL Draft.
Two Stanley Cups.
A championship with Team USA in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.
Five all-star appearances.
In Tuesday night’s 4-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks Guerin added to his list of milestones – he became the 80th player in National Hockey League history to appear in 1200 career games.
“I remember the first game very well,” Guerin said. “You remember a lot of them when you’re young. Everything was so new and exciting. It doesn’t seem like 1200 games ago. It seems like it was yesterday.
“It feels pretty good. It’s a nice accomplishment and a nice milestone. I’m pretty proud of the fact that I’ve been able to stick around for that many games and do what I’ve done. I’m pretty proud of that.”
I’m pretty proud of the fact that I’ve been able to stick around for that many games and do what I’ve done. I’m pretty proud of that. - Bill Guerin
Guerin can also be proud of how his career has seen a rebirth since the Penguins acquired him from the New York Islanders for a third-round draft pick on March 4, 2009.
In his first game with the Penguins one night later, Guerin picked up his 800th career point when he assisted on a Sidney Crosby
goal against the Florida Panthers. Five days later Guerin picked up career assist No. 400 in a home game against the Panthers, becoming the eighth U.S.-born player to join the 400 goal/400 assist club.
“I think they actually mean more now,” Guerin said of reaching personal milestones. “Maybe because the games played number is getting up there, so is my age. It’s nice to know that I’m still around.”
Guerin has done more for the Penguins than just still be around. He was a key contributor in the Stanley Cup playoffs, netting seven goals and eight assists, including the game-winner in overtime of Game 2 during the opening round against the Philadelphia Flyers. This season Guerin has three goals and six assists through the first 15 games playing on a line with Crosby and Chris Kunitz
What does Guerin enjoy most about the countless memories he has made along the seven stops he has made?
“When I look back I think about how fun the game is to play. When I’m done, the thing I’ll miss the most is game day, coming to the rink for the morning skates, preparing for the games, being ready in the dressing room with the guys. Those are the things I really take with me.”
What Guerin won’t be taking with him when he one day calls it a career are a ton of pucks and sticks commemorating his plethora of accomplishments. He has something better.
“Most of it is in my head. First goal, things like that you have the puck. Last night I didn’t keep anything. I just tried to enjoy the day, enjoy the game and appreciate where you are.”
If he enjoys playing so much, will there be a 1,500th game for Guerin?
“We’ll see. We’ll see.”