Vegas Golden Knights forward Phil Kessel is set to break the NHL’s ironman record by playing in his 990th consecutive game on Tuesday night against the San Jose Sharks.
Kessel tied the mark, previously set by Keith Yandle last season, during Monday’s win over the Toronto Maple Leafs by playing in his 989th consecutive game.
He has not missed a game since the 2009-10 season when he was still a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Since then he has not missed a game over the following 13 seasons as a member of the Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Arizona Coyotes, and now the Golden Knights. During that time he has been one of the league’s best wingers and was a key part of two Stanley Cup-winning teams in Pittsburgh.
Kessel has not missed a game since October 31, 2009, when he sat out against the Montreal Canadiens with a shoulder injury that kept him out of the lineup for the first month of that season.
For his career, Kessel has only missed 36 scheduled games, meaning he has played in more than 97 percent of the games he has been eligible to play in over a 17-year-stretch. Critics will point to his style of play because he is not an overly physical player or somebody that is going to stand in front of shots to block them, but playing in nearly 1,000 consecutive games (something he should accomplish next month) is no small feat. Especially since only five players (Kessel, Yandle, Doug Jarvis, Garry Unger, and Patrick Marleau) have even topped 900 consecutive games.
As for the other sports ironman records.
Cal Ripken Jr. holds the Major League Baseball mark with 2,632 consecutive games played.
In the NFL, the record belongs to punter Jeff Feagles who appeared in 352 consecutive games.
A.C. Green holds the NBA mark with 1,192 consecutive games played.