Patrick Marleau is the iron man of hockey.
Marleau played in his 1,768th career game last week with the San Jose Sharks breaking the record held by Hall of Famer Goldie Howe.
Howe held the record of 1,767 games played before being broken by Marleau.
He will play in game number 1771 Monday night against Arizona.
Patrick Marleau has played the majority of his career with the San Jose Sharks. Drafted by the Sharks in 1997, he would play with San Jose for 20 seasons before ending his first run with the organization in 2017.
In July of 2017, Marleau signed a three-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs, worth over six million dollars a year.
Marleau would play just one and a half seasons in Toronto before Leafs traded would trade him to Carolina in 2019 to get some salary-cap relief. Marleau then had his contract bought out at the end of the season by the Hurricanes.
Marleau signed a one-year contract with the Sharks in the summer of 2019. He was traded to Pittsburgh in January of 2020, with the Sharks having no chance of gaining a playoff spot.
Marleau signed once again with the Sharks in October of 2020 and set the new record for most games played in a regular-season on April 19 against the Vegas Golden Knights.
The game was on the road in Vegas, and the Golden Knight fans in attendance gave Marleau a rousing ovation. Marleau’s wife and four sons were also in attendance.
Thank God Marleau was able to break the record on the road with some hockey fans in attendance.
There are no fans allowed at home games in San Francisco as California Governor Gavin Newsome still has California in lockdowns with his draconian COVID-19 rules.
In his 23 year career, Marleau has missed just 31 games and has played against 37 percent of the players who have ever played in the NHL.
There are no maintenance days for Patrick Marleau as he has played a full 82 game schedule in 11 of his 23 seasons, missing an average of one game per season.
A very emotional Marleau talked about what keeps him coming to the rink every day. I love it,” Marleau said. “There’s nothing else like it.”
Many from around the NHL congratulated Marleau via video tributes.
Marleau was very appreciative of the tributes and kind words that poured in:
You go battle with these guys day in and day out. You play against them, and they know the grind and know what it takes to play in this league. For them to show their respects and have all these kind words, it’s very humbling.
Marleau has played through bouts with the flu and numerous injuries. He once chartered a plane to join his team in Nashville for a game after the birth of his son.
This is what commitment to your team looks like. You play through the nagging injuries. You show up when you don’t feel like it. You don’t take days off because you’re “tired.”
This is a record that I don’t see ever being broken. To play in that many games in your career while sitting out only 31 games over 23 seasons is remarkable. That is an average of missing one game per season.
Marleau never took days off just because he didn’t want to play. He always wanted to be in the lineup and help his team win. Marleau’s next great achievement will be when he is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Perhaps the NBA players are watching and paying attention to Patrick Marleau and getting a lesson in what commitment to your team and being a professional athlete should look like.
I’m not holding my breath.