via John Locher (USA Today)
It’s interesting to see before the season starts which players will be honored when it comes to career achievements. This upcoming season, there is no shortage of milestones to be hit, from the games played to points, many NHLers are up and have a chance to put themselves in the record book.
Ryan Getzlaf, Nicklas Backstrom, Jason Spezza all Join 1,000 Point Club
It’s an exciting time when an NHLer joins the 1,000 point club. The last player to do so was Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar, who did so on the fifth-to-last game of the Kings’ season. This season, there are three players who can realistically hit the mark. The closest player to the achievement is Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf who’s 18 points away. Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom is only 20 points away from 1,000, and Jason Spezza of the Toronto Maple Leafs is 30 points away. We had trouble thinking if Spezza had a 30 point season in him, but considering he put up that total in only 54 games, we have faith in him. Patrice Bergeron needs 83 points for 1,000 but we don’t think he hits it this season, but absolutely next year.
Marc-Andre Fleury Wins 500 Games
It’s easy to say simply that it isn’t often when a goalie in the National Hockey League wins 500 games. In fact, there are only two other goalies who’ve accomplished such a feat. You don’t have to be a complete hockey nerd to guess that it’s Martin Brodeur with 691 and Patrick Roy with 551. Safe to say Marc-Andre Fleury will be joining some elite company. After being dealt from the Vegas Golden Knights to the Chicago Blackhawks, Fleury pondered the idea of retirement. After deciding not to, he’s on milestone watch. He sits on 492 wins, needing only eight more until the big 500. This is a very doable milestone, barring covid issues or injuries. It’s a question exactly how many wins Chicago will get this year, but we’re sure the Flower will contribute to at least eight of them.
Carey Price Earns 50th Shutout
This achievement may not be as big on the all time ranks as some of the others, but this is still big, considering the caliber of teams he’s played for. Carey Price has been a dominant goalie in the NHL for some time since being drafted fifth overall back in 2005. Since then, he’s played in over 700 games, and won 360 of them. In the 2014-15 season, he nearly swept the awards ceremony winning the Hart, Vezina, Ted Lindsay, and William M. Jennings. At the age of 34, Price has shown that he still has fight in him, leading the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Final, but losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games. However, this season he has a chance to secure his 50th career regular season shutout. Price only needs one shutout to hit that feat, which is very easy for someone at his caliber to do so.
Jakub Voracek, Blake Wheeler, Evgeni Malkin, Andy Greene Among those who play 1,000th game
There are many talented players here up for the 1,000 games played mark. Players such as Blake Wheeler, Jakub Voracek, Mark Giordano, Claude Giroux, and Evgeni Malkin all could hit 1,000 games played this year. The closest player to the feat is New York Islanders defender Andy Greene, who only needs 12 more games to reach 1,000. Any of these players who reach 1,000 games will receive a Silver Stick presented by the NHL. There is a possibility 17 different players hit the mark.
|Name||Position||Team||Games Needed for 1,000|
|Andy Greene||Defender||New York Islanders||12|
|Blake Wheeler||Winger||Winnipeg Jets||19|
|Loui Eriksson||Winger||Arizona Coyotes||23|
|Drew Doughty||Defender||Los Angeles Kings||25|
|Jakub Voracek||Winger||Columbus Blue Jackets||32|
|Nick Folingo||Forward||Boston Bruins||43|
|Mark Giordano||Defender||Seattle Kraken||51|
|Marc Staal||Defender||Detroit Red Wings||52|
|Wayne Simmonds||Winger||Toronto Maple Leafs||53|
|Claude Giroux||Forward||Philadelphia Flyers||57|
|Evgeni Malkin||Center||Pittsburgh Penguins||60|
|Frans Nielsen||Forward||Detroit Red Wings||75|
|Alexander Edler||Defender||Los Angeles Kings||75|
|Alex Goligoski||Defender||Minnesota Wild||76|
|Josh Bailey||Winger||New York Islanders||81|