SAN JOSE, Calif. — As a young hockey fan growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan, Patrick Marleau was encouraged to pursue his dream by the fact that stars like Gordie Howe had made it from the province to the National Hockey League.
For Marleau, reaching the NHL was just the beginning. Marleau is about to break Mr. Hockey’s record for most games played in the National Hockey League. He left Saskatchewan to join the San Jose Sharks when he was just a teenager. Marleau will tie Howe’s record of 1,767 games played this Saturday in Minnesota and then shatter it two nights later in Las Vegas.
On Thursday, Marleau Explained What has Kept him Going for so Long:
“Just first and foremost is loving the game and I just love being out there and playing.” Since you already know what the Stanley Cup represents, it should come as no surprise that I have spent my entire life working toward the same goal: “Obviously, every kid’s desire is to lift that Stanley Cup.”
While Marleau has made it to the Stanley Cup Final once, in 2016, he has been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs several times throughout his career.
For a player of his age, 41-year-old Marleau has accomplished quite a bit: 566 goals, 1,196 points, three All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals for Canada in 2010 and 2014.
However, he will be remembered for his exceptional skating skills and consistency, which allowed him to play 895 games without missing a single one since he was 29. Even after the birth of one of his boys in 2009, he hired an aircraft to fly to Nashville to join his teammates for a game. He played despite the virus, other injuries, and the entire ordeal.
Patrick Marleau Goal in Life
His goal in life was to leave behind the impression that he “gave it my all” when he passed away. I really liked playing the game, being a part of the squad, and winning. These are the most significant aspects.
On October 1, 1997, at the age of 18 years and 16 days, Marleau made his NHL debut, becoming the youngest player to do so since Lee Wharton, who made his debut with the Rangers in 1945 at the age of 17 years and 81 days.
Early Career of Patrick Marleau
Early in his career, he established himself as a top player by scoring 13 goals in his rookie year and then going on to have the first of 15 20-goal seasons the year after.
Mike Ricci, now an executive for the Sharks, was Marleau’s teammate for seven years. “He was an easy skater from day one,” Ricci said. Perhaps he was gifted with that ability. The results you see on the rink are the direct result of your natural skating ability, your excellent physical condition, and your consistent effort both on and off the ice. Many “effortless” players simply can’t keep it up for this long. When we were younger, I used to tease him by saying he could play sports until he was 60. I was obviously exaggerating, but perhaps not as much as I imagined.
Marleau has stated that he will not play again until he is 60 years old, but he also has no plans to retire after the current season. It’s not dissimilar to Howe’s attitude, who played until the age of 52 yet still managed to retire with 41 points for Hartford in his final season. Howe played 419 more games in the WHA, but they don’t count toward his NHL total.
Although Jaromir Jagr, Mark Messier, and Chris Chelios all came close to Howe’s record, nobody has been able to beat it.
Mark Howe, a scout for the Detroit Red Wings who played 1,355 games in the NHL and WHA, said: “Records are made to be broken.” To paraphrase, “I thought this one would be really, really tough to break, but Patrick is finally going to do it.” Thanks for reading our article Patrick Marleau Breaks Gordie Howes N.H.L. Record For Games …