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Marleau Sets All-Time Record for Most NHL Regular Season Games Played

Longtime Sharks Icon Plays In His 1,768th Game at Vegas, Surpassing Hockey Legend Gordie Howe

by San Jose Sharks @sanjosesharks /

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Tonight in Las Vegas, NV, San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) forward Patrick Marleau appeared in his 1,768th career regular season NHL game, surpassing Hockey Hall of Famer Gordie Howe for first overall on the NHL's all-time regular season games played list. Howe became the NHL's record holder on Nov. 26, 1961, when he played in his 1,000th NHL regular season game. For nearly 60 years, he has never relinquished the top spot, until tonight.

Additionally, tonight was Marleau's 899th consecutive regular season game, which places him fourth all-time in NHL history, and third amongst all active NHL players. He has not missed an NHL game since April 9, 2009.

In recognition of Marleau's remarkable achievement, the Sharks will host an on-ice ceremony prior to the Sharks game on April 24 vs. the Minnesota Wild at SAP Center.

In a remarkable, 23-year NHL career, Marleau finds himself in the upper echelon on several of the NHL's other all-time lists, including 23rd in goals (566); T-7th in game-winning goals (109); 50th in points (1,196); and 80th in assists (630).

He is the Sharks franchise leader in most offensive categories, including games played (1,596), goals (522), points (1,110), power-play goals (163), shorthanded goals (17), game-winning goals (101) and shots (3,941). He also ranks second in assists (588), eighth in penalty minutes (481), and T-7th in points-per-game (0.70 - min. 200 games). He has scored a game-winning goal against every current NHL team (including the Sharks), except for the Vegas Golden Knights in his career.

Of the 361 players to ever don a Sharks uniform for at least one game, Marleau has played alongside 255 of them (71%). He currently sits four games shy of 1,600 career regular season games with the Sharks.

You can find more interesting stats and notes about Marleau here, courtesy of the NHL.

Marleau's ascent on the all-time games played list began on Oct. 1, 1997, when the second overall selection in the 1997 NHL Draft made his NHL debut for the San Jose Sharks against the Edmonton Oilers. At 18 years, six days old, Marleau became the youngest player to make his NHL debut since 1945.

That season, Marleau finished tied for eighth among rookies in games played while also ranking in the top-10 in several offensive categories including points (32, fourth), goals (13, fifth), assists (seventh) and power-play points (7, ninth). He appeared in 74 games his rookie season and, over the next 22 years, that would be the fewest number of games he would play in a full 82-game season.

  • On Dec. 12, 2006 at Los Angeles, Marleau appeared in his 672nd NHL game to take sole possession of first place on the Sharks all-time franchise games played list, surpassing Mike Rathje (671).
  • On Jan. 17, 2010, he appeared in his milestone 1,000th career game to become the first player to play all 1,000 career NHL games in a Sharks uniform.
  • He was the first player from his 1997 draft class to reach 1,000 games and is the third-youngest player in NHL history to accomplish the feat (31 years, 124 days - behind Dale Hawerchuk [30 years, 306 days] and Vincent Damphousse [31 days, 110 days]). Had there not been a work stoppage during the 2004-05 season, Marleau would have been the youngest ever.
  • Marleau collected his 500th NHL goal on Feb. 2, 2017, 600th assist on Nov. 8, 2018 and his 1100th NHL point on Nov. 21, 2015.
  • He has been selected to the NHL All-Star Game three times (2004, 2007 and 2009).

On April 9, 2009, Marleau started his current consecutive games played streak (899 consecutive games played), which is the fourth-longest ironman streak in NHL history, and the second-longest active streak in the NHL. In a full 82-game schedule, Marleau has averaged 80.45 games played each season, having missed only 31 of his team's games in his career (98.1%). In comparison to the other major professional sports, Marleau's percentage of games played ranks fifth.

A.C. Green NBA 1985-2001 1278 99.8%
Elvin Hayes NBA 1968-1984 1303 99.3%
Andrew Cogliano NHL 2007-active 1052 98.6%
John Stockton NBA 1984-2003 1504 98.6%
Patrick Marleau NHL 1997-active 1768 98.1%

On Oct. 25, 2019 against Toronto, Marleau became the seventh player in NHL history to appear in at least 1,500 games with one franchise. On Dec. 12, 2019 vs. the New York Rangers, Marleau and Joe Thornton became the first pair of teammates to have appeared in 1,600 regular season games and play in the same game together.

Including Stanley Cup Playoff games, Marleau has amassed 1,963 career games (195 playoff games) which is second to only Mark Messier's 1,992 total games. Marleau is also just one of 13 NHL players to skate in at least 23 seasons, and is one of 14 players in NHL history to play in four separate decades (1990s, 2000s, 2010s, 2020s).

His 195 Stanley Cup Playoff games is tied for 22nd in NHL history, and his appearance in the playoffs in 20 different seasons is tied for the third most. In the postseason, Marleau has recorded 127 points (72 goals, 55 assists) and ranks tied for 14th all-time in playoff goals and tied for 48th in playoff points.

Internationally, Marleau played for the gold-medal winning Team Canada in the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, represented Canada in the 2014 World Cup of Hockey (gold medal), and has appeared in four World Championships (1999, 2001, 2003, 2005).

The six-foot-two, 215-pound native of Aneroid, Saskatchewan was originally selected by San Jose in the 1997 NHL Draft (first round, second overall).

Game #1 Oct. 1, 1997 San Jose vs. Edmonton
Game #100 Dec. 10, 1998 San Jose at Nashville
Game #200 Jan. 8, 2000 San Jose vs. Florida
Game #300 March 1, 2001 San Jose at Ottawa
Game #400 Oct. 19, 2002 San Jose vs. Colorado
Game #500 Nov. 26, 2003 San Jose vs. Chicago
Game #600 Jan. 14, 2006 San Jose at Montreal
Game #700 Feb., 24, 2007 San Jose at Calgary
Game #800 Oct. 17, 2008 San Jose at Anaheim
Game #900 Dec. 1, 2009 San Jose vs. Ottawa
Game #999 Jan. 15, 2011 San Jose vs. St. Louis
Game #1,000 Jan. 17, 2011 San Jose at Phoenix
Game #1,100 Mar. 6, 2012 San Jose vs. Edmonton
Game #1,200 Dec. 19, 2013 San Jose at Los Angeles
Game #1,300 Feb. 5, 2015 San Jose at Vancouver
Game #1,400 Mar. 19, 2016 San Jose vs. New York Rangers
Game #1,500 Oct. 18, 2017 San Jose vs. Detroit
Game #1,600 Nov. 26, 2018 San Jose vs. Boston
Game #1,700 Jan. 11, 2020 San Jose vs. Dallas
Game #1,767 Apr. 17, 2021 San Jose at Minnesota
Game #1,768 Apr. 19, 2021 San Jose at Vegas
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