Home Actualité internationale CM – History is made: Patrick Marleau overtakes Gordie Howe to become NHL Leading Player
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CM – History is made: Patrick Marleau overtakes Gordie Howe to become NHL Leading Player

At 7:08 pm when the puck fell to start the game on Monday between the San Jose Sharks and hosts Vegas Golden Knights, Marleau, who started the game, secured his place in NHL history and played in his 1,768. Regular season play to overtake Gordie Howe and become the league all-time leader in played games.

What was once considered the unbreakable record that Howe has held for nearly 60 years now belongs to Marleau, designed by the Sharks in 1997 and later to become the face of the organization.

« On behalf of all of your fans and friends and the entire NHL family, congratulations on an amazing achievement, » said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in a videotaped statement shown when the game was first stopped. “Just being mentioned in the same sentence as Gordie Howe is an accomplishment most ice hockey players can only dream of.

Fans in the T-Mobile Arena, including some Sharks fans, gave Marleau a standing ovation. Members of the Golden Knights also showed their appreciation for Marleau’s performance.

Marleau removed the # 12 jersey he was wearing at the start of the game and it was hung behind the Sharks bench to be sent to the Toronto Hockey Hall of Fame.

Toronto Maple Leafs captain and former Marleau teammate John Tavares tweeted: « It’s amazing to see you’ve broken Gordie’s record for all games played. There is no one more dedicated, more humble or more deserving. I feel very happy to have been your teammate. Congratulations Patty! « 

 » I went there for Patty’s first game &, now I’m witness to history, « tweeted former Sharks striker Owen Nolan. “An amazing achievement. Congratulations buddy.  »

Marleau’s wife Christina, her four boys and members of his extended family were all present on Monday and watched the game from a luxury suite.

The previous Monday, Marleau had left nearly 24 years of stoicism behind and became emotional when he thanked the people who helped him throughout his historic career.

« I always get congested and emotional when it comes to reaching people and talking to people about how long it’s been, how far I’ve come, or how many games I’ve played, » said Marleau. « You can’t get this far without help and support. I’m very grateful for that. »

Marleau has now played 1,596 games in 21 seasons with the Sharks, the team that moved him to 2nd overall in 1997. Marleau played 164 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2017 to 2019 and eight regular season games with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2020.

With the record of games played, Marleau complements an already impressive résumé, which should guarantee a place in the Hockey Hall of Fame after his retirement, even without a Stanley Cup.

Marleau started on Monday with 566 goals and 1,196 points in an NHL career in 23 seasons and scored at least 20 goals 15 times in one season. He played in three NHL All-Star Games and won gold medals with Canada in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.

Marleau has now also played 899 back-to-back games, an Ironman series that began on April 9, 2009.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 19: Fans wear jerseys in honor of Patrick Marleau # 12 of the San Jose Sharks as he turned out before a game against the Vegas Golden Knights, his 1,768. NHL game, warms up at T-Mobile Arena on April 19, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. With this game, Marleau Gordie Howes broke the record of 1,767 NHL career games played. (Photo by Ethan Miller / Getty Images) « This is more than just a personal milestone, » Sharks defender Erik Karlsson said ahead of the game. « This is a statement for any player who has played this game at any point in time. »

Marleau said members of Howe’s family had congratulated him on setting this new NHL standard.

Howe played 1,767 regular season games in the NHL in 26 seasons, with the first 25 being a member of the Detroit Red Wings from 1946 to 1971. He led the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup four times and won the Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy six times each as NHL Most Valuable Player and Leading Goalscorer.

Howe’s last NHL season was with the Hartford Whalers in 1979-80, when he finished his career with 1,850 points, a record that lasted nearly a decade before Wayne Gretzky broke that mark in 1989. Howe died in 2016.

« I got his message yesterday and it meant the world to me, » said Marleau. who also received messages of congratulations from Gretzky and numerous former teammates. « Then we exchanged messages, but the message he left me was … I’m very grateful. »
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 19: A fan holds up a sign in honor of Patrick Marleau # 12 of the San Jose Sharks as he competes before a game against the Vegas Golden Knights, his 1,768. NHL game, warms up at T-Mobile Arena on April 19, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. With this game, Marleau Gordie Howes broke the record of 1,767 NHL career games played. (Photo by Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

Marleau and Gordie Howe both come from the same gritty backgrounds on the Canadian prairies, from rural towns in the sometimes bitterly cold province of Saskatchewan.

Howe grew up in a town called Floral, just outside Saskatoon in the central part of the province. Marleau is native to aneroid, has a population of less than 100 people, and is located in the southwest corner.

« I’m pretty proud to be from Saskatchewan and Gordie from Saskatchewan. I think it’s a pretty cool connection, » said Marleau, whose first NHL game was on October 1, 1997.

« Part of the message Mark gave me yesterday was that it was kind of fitting that I was from Saskatchewan and that Gordie was from there and that he would be very proud to break the record tonight a small town farm boy from Saskatchewan.  »

With Marleau only 44 games behind Howe’s record, the Sharks signed a one-year deal in October. General Manager Doug Wilson said at the time that if Marleau broke that record, it should happen to San Jose.
This season, Marleau overtook Ron Francis (1,731 games), Jaromir Jagr (1,733) and Mark Messier (1,756) before joining Howe on Saturday when the Sharks played against Minnesota Wild.

« That’s why we’re so proud that he does this in a shark uniform, » Wilson said recently. « That’s why we wanted to happen like this. »

Marleau called Bob Boughner in the off-season before signing to make sure the Sharks trainer was on board.

« He asked me, » Do I want him back? « I said, » Of course. It’s a breeze, « said Boughner. » If you need someone to set the culture in the dressing room, what better guy? When I think of Patty, it comes to mind.  »

Marleau has been showered with admiration and respect from players and coaches around the NHL over the past few days.

« It’s very special to have that respect and have people who say such nice words, » said Marleau in a fading voice. “You go into battle with these guys every day, you play against them.

« They know the grind, they know what it takes to play in this league and it’s very humble when they show that respect and have all these kind words. »

Marleau also got emotional talking about his first agent in the NHL, Don Baizley, who died of cancer in 2013.

« Everything he’s done for me during my career, » said Marleau, pausing for a moment, « was extremely amazing to me. I wish I could say more, but he’s definitely been a big part of my career .  »

Players and coaches across the NHL have been talking about Marleau’s tremendous accomplishment for the past few days.

« We haven’t understood or realized yet that it’s actually going to happen, » said Karlsson of Marleau’s record. « This is not only a historic moment for Patty and this organization, but also a historic moment for the entire league and every player who has played this game, with or against him. »

The Haie also printed shirts and hoodies that recognized Marleau’s achievement. Boughner said the team will do « something special » for Marleau ahead of the game, although Marleau said he wasn’t sure what the presentation might mean on Monday morning.
On the subject of matching items

“Congratulations, Patty!”: What NHL Said as Sharks Patrick Marleau broke Gordie Howe’s record

Photos: Patrick Marleau tops the table in all games played

Patrick Marleau emotional as he contemplates his career and breaks Gordie Howe’s record

Sharks’ Marleau pursued Gordie Howe’s NHL record with great success

Marleau’s journey to Howe’s NHL record began with luck – and Shark’s talent couldn’t deny it

« I know there was a lot of work done for a lot of people that day, » said Marleau. « I am very grateful for the work that has been done. »

« I’m just trying to accept it, to take it all in. That’s the greatest, » said Marleau. « But I just love to be able to thank the people who have supported me on this path. »

# The Sharks announced Monday night that they would be holding an on-ice ceremony ahead of their game against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday at the SAP Center.

Ref: https://www.mercurynews.com


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