Nothing can stop Patrick Marleau. Not the gruelling demands of playing in the NHL, nor the accumulation of wear and tear. Not even Father Time.
The 41-year-old San Jose Sharks forward keeps chugging along and racking up milestones in the process, including a big one Monday against the Minnesota Wild when he passed Hall of Famer Mark Messier for second on the NHL's all-time games played list by suiting up for No. 1,757.
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) March 30, 2021
The achievement puts Marleau just 10 games back of the legendary Gordie Howe at 1,767 with 22 games remaining on the Sharks' schedule.
Marleau's teammates saluted the long-time Sharks icon with stick taps when the feat was announced in the arena Monday.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 30, 2021
Marleau has shown remarkable consistency and endurance since he was drafted by San Jose with the second pick in the 1997 NHL Draft, playing no less than 74 games in 18 of his 23 years in the NHL, which include the 2012-13 lockout campaign, the 2019-20 pandemic-shortened season and this year's condensed calendar.
The native of Aneroid, Sask., also owns the fourth-longest iron man streak in the NHL at 887 games, heading into Monday's tilt, and is second on the active list behind the Florida Panthers' Keith Yandle.
“I still feel really good out there, and I still feel like I can contribute given the opportunity,” Marleau told The Athletic earlier this month. “I know I can still play."
Over his illustrious 1,757 career games, Marleau has put up 1194 points and is sixth among active skaters.