Patrick Marleau
(Tony Avelar/Associated Press)

Patrick Marleau Now Holds The Record For Most Games Played

Tonight, San Jose Shark Patrick Marleau skated on the ice to solidify his place in NHL history. Marleau just surpassed Gordie Howe for most games played in the NHL with an astronomical number of 1,768. Tonight’s game versus the Golden Knights will always be remembered as the night Patrick Marleau made his mark.

Marleau is still only 41-years-old and still has plenty left in the tank, as evident by his play so far this season for the Sharks. Marleau has played his entire 23-year career for San Jose with the exception of the eight games he played for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2019-2020 season. Through 44 games in 2021, Marleau has eight points on four goals and four assists. While his numbers aren’t staggering, Marleau contributes plenty of things that don’t appear on the stat sheet. He still shares his years of experience and wisdom with a relatively young Sharks squad that has struggled as of late. But if there’s anyone who knows about the ups and downs of a long NHL season, it’s Patrick Marleau.

A Long NHL Career That Will Only Get Longer

Patrick Marleau started his historic NHL career way back in 1997 at the young age of 18. In that 1997-98 rookie season, Marleau played 74 games and finished with 32 points. From there, Marleau never dipped below 40 points in a year until the 2012-13 season. Part of the reason he has been able to break the record of most games played at a relatively young age compared to other players who held the record is that he came into the league at such a young age. Another and even bigger reason he’s broke the record is that he has played a full 82 games a whopping 11 times! That includes a six-season streak playing a full 82 games from 2013 to 2019. Absolutely insane. Marleau has also had three seasons with 81 games played, and one with 80 games played.

Washington Capitals defenseman and Bruins legend Zdeno Chara is two years older than Marleau and is currently the oldest active player in the NHL. However, Chara is only at 1,598 games played, which makes it sound even crazier that Marleau has already broken the record and will continue to raise the bar. Even Marleau’s former linemate and NHL legend ‘Jumbo’ Joe Thornton is also two years older than him and has played 1,668 so far in his career.

The Sharks may not be heading to the Stanley Cup this year or even in the near future, but they should be grateful they have a player like Patrick Marleau on their team. He’s a true class act and he will go down of one of the best to ever play for San Jose. He’s still chugging on at age 41, and I dont see many players coming anywhere close to his record for most games anytime soon.

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