The NHL has been disrupted several times since 2009, by labor disputes and a pandemic. But every time Phil Kessel’s team hit the ice, he laced up his skates.
On Tuesday night, Kessel, 35, a right-winger for the Vegas Golden Knights, played in his 990th straight NHL game, setting his league’s Ironman record. He improved Keith Yandle’s mark, established last season. Yandle retired from the Philadelphia Flyers at the end of last season.
“I don’t know. I just try to play no matter what,” he told reporters. “I’ve been lucky over the years.”
The channel included time with the Maple Leafs, Penguins, Coyotes and Golden Knights, which he joined this season. His career has included two Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh, an Olympic silver medal with the United States in 2010 and exactly 400 NHL goals, including the record 400th in Ironman on Tuesday night.
Prior to the streak, he had a successful battle with testicular cancer during his rookie season with the Bruins. Kessel has periodically been the target of criticism that he is overweight or out of shape, an insult more than belied by his on-ice performance and longevity.
Ironman streaks are unusual records and sometimes considered difficult to break. When you fall, the ancients often say it will last forever because modern players “aren’t as tough” or “are only in it for the money”.
But such records are somehow more achievable than 762 home runs or 164 rushing touchdowns, which would require sustained brilliance. Of course, to be an ironman, you have to be good enough to play at the highest level for a long time. But beyond that, what is needed is perseverance, the will to never miss a game, luck and maybe an understanding manager.
Here are the players from other venerable North American sports leagues with that kind of drive.
MLB: Cal Ripken Jr.
By far, the most famous Ironman streak belongs to Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles, who played in 2,632 consecutive baseball games.
Ripken’s 1995 record hunt was closely watched by fans and meticulously covered by the media. When he broke the record, he circled Camden Yards, fans who stood up in a moment often cited as one of the most memorable sports of the decade, if not the century. It seemed to tell fans that baseball was back after a demoralizing players’ strike that ended earlier this season.
President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore were on hand, along with a host of baseball greats, and the news made the front page of The New York Times.
Ripken’s streak was particularly memorable as it broke that of the legendary Lou Gehrig, whose own streak of 2,130 games ended only because he was dying of ALS, which came to be known as Alzheimer’s disease. Lou Gehrig.
NBA: AC green
AC Green holds the record, playing 1,192 consecutive NBA games. It broke the previous mark of 906 in 1997, passing Randy Smith. An ABA player, Ron Boone, played 1,041 times in a row, and eventually Green passed him as well.
Green is best known for his role playing titles for the Showtime Lakers alongside Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He moved on to the Suns, where the streak was most at risk. JR Reid of the Knicks elbowed Green in the mouth, knocking out two teeth. Coach Cotton Fitzsimmons kept the streak alive by playing Green in a face mask for just a few minutes in a dozen games.
When he broke the NBA record, he had moved to the Mavs. The record holder’s cover wasn’t as prominent or glowing as it was for Ripken. Many articles seemed preoccupied with Green’s self-proclaimed status as a virgin, a bit of trivia that tended to overshadow a solid and tenacious career.
NFL: Jeff Feagles
If you had to guess which type of player would manage to never miss a game for two decades or more in the brutal NFL, you’d probably guess a kicker or a punter.
And you would be right. Punter Jeff Feagles played every game from 1988 to 2010, a streak of 352 for the Patriots, Eagles, Cardinals, Seahawks and Giants. The streak ended with his retirement after the 2009 season.
But an impressive honorable mention goes to Brett Favre, who had 299 consecutive games (297 as a starter) from 1992 to 2010. Quarterback is not only one of the most injury-prone positions on the field, but it is often specifically targeted for damage while rampaging. edge rushers. “The other team’s quarterback has to go down, and he has to go down hard,” Raiders owner Al Davis once said. Favre fell, but always got back up for 18 years.
#NHLs #Phil #Kessel #joins #Sports #Sustainability #Hall #Fame