We're calling him "Milestone Marleau!"
San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau and clinical nurse educator generalist Jane Vergara have been named the NHL's "First Stars" for the week ending April 25.
Marleau celebrated a pair of historic achievements, overtaking Gordie Howe for the most regular-season games played in NHL history and later becoming the fourth player in league history to appear in 900 consecutive regular-season contests.
The 41-year-old Aneroid, Sask., native dethroned Mr. Hockey - who had held the distinction as the NHL's all-time games played leader since Nov. 26, 1961 - when he stepped onto the ice for his 1,768th career contest April 19, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.
"The emotional roller coaster, it was definitely a long ride," Marleau said after breaking Howe's record. "I'm very grateful and blessed that I was able to do this with all the support I've had over my career. It's something I'll never forget."
The No. 2 overall selection from the 1997 NHL Draft then reached another milestone in a 5-2 loss to the Golden Knights April 21, when he joined Doug Jarvis, Keith Yandle and Garry Unger as the fourth player in League history to skate in 900 straight games. Marleau, who has registered 4-5-9 thus far during his 23rd NHL season (47 GP), ranks 23rd in League history in career goals (566) and 50th in career points (1,197). Click here for more details from Marleau's record-setting achievement.
In addition, throughout the 2021 season the NHL is celebrating the remarkable efforts of the off-ice stars who make it possible for us to play our games amid a pandemic by honoring frontline healthcare heroes from the regions represented by the League's weekly and monthly "Stars."
Vergara, a clinical nurse educator generalist at a local San Jose hospital, hires and teaches clinical staff and contracted nurses to ensure they are well-informed and confident in providing exceptional patient care. She has taken charge of various types of teaching throughout the hospital, helping grow the Clinical Education, Practice and Informatics Department over the past five years.
Vergara has not been slowed down during the pandemic, instead rising to every occasion as her hospital has adapted to new equipment. She always maintains a positive, enthusiastic and humorous energy that she incorporates into her training, helping staff members stay engaged and excited about their work.