On Monday night, Patrick Marleau lined up for the opening faceoff next to Max Pacioretty as the Sharks and Golden Knights got set to play. The two exchanged fist bumps — not a normal how-do-you-do to start a hockey game. That’s because this night was different: Marleau was seconds away from history.
And then, the puck dropped. Marleau had officially become the NHL’s all-time games played leader as he skated in game No. 1,768.
WIth that, the Sharks’ second overall pick from the 1997 NHL Draft surpassed Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe. (Joe Thornton was the first selection that year and makes an, ahem, appearance in one of the tweets below). It was a mark many in the sports thought would never fall; after all, Howe recorded that final game at the age of 52.
Marleau, at 41, now goes into the record books — and will surely add more games to that total this year (the Sharks have 11 more games). He’s not done yet.
The hockey and sports worlds took to social media to congratulate Marleau on the historic moment.