The NHL has been put on hold several times since 2009 by labor disputes and pandemics. But every time Phil Kessel’s team took to the ice, he laced up his skates.
On Tuesday night, the 35-year-old Kessel, a right winger for the Vegas Golden Knights, set a league Ironman record by playing in his 990th consecutive NHL game. He surpassed Keith Yandl’s record last season. Yandle retired from the Philadelphia Flyers at the end of last season.
“I don’t know. I just try to play no matter what.” he told reporters“I’ve been lucky over the years.”
That period also included playing for the Maple Leafs, Penguins, Coyotes and the Golden Knights, who joined this season. His career includes his two Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh, the 2010 Olympic silver medal in the United States, and just his 400th goal in the NHL, with his 400th goal coming Tuesday night at Ironman. It’s a record breaker.
Before setting his winning streak, he had a successful rookie season with the Bruins battling testicular cancer. Kessel has regularly been the subject of criticism that he is overweight or out of shape.
Ironman’s winning streak is a rare record and is sometimes considered difficult to break. If someone falls, veterans often say it will last forever. Because modern players are ‘not so tough’ or ‘only in for the money’.
But such a record is in some ways more achievable than the 762 homers and 164 rushing touchdowns that require sustained brilliance. Of course, to become an iron man, you must be strong enough to play at the top level for a long time. But more than that, you need endurance, determination to never miss a game, luck and perhaps an understanding manager.
Here are other venerable North American Sports League players with such willpower.
MLB: Cal Ripken Jr.
The most famous Ironman record ever is held by Baltimore Orioles’ Cal Ripken Jr., who played in 2,632 straight games.
Ripken’s record chase in 1995 was watched closely by fans and enthusiastically covered by the news media. He circled Camden Yards when he broke the record. Fans who high-fived were often cited as one of the most memorable places in sports for him in this decade, or even this century. It seemed to tell fans that baseball was back after a demoralizing strike that ended earlier that season.
With many baseball greats in attendance, including President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, the news made the front page of The New York Times.
Ripken’s streak was particularly impressive as it broke the record of the legendary Lou Gehrig, who ended a streak of 2,130 games solely because he was dying of ALS, which would come to be known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
NBA: AC Green
AC Green holds the record for 1,192 consecutive games played in the NBA. He broke the previous record of 906 in 1997, surpassing Randy Smith. ABA player Ron Boone played in a streak of 1,041 games, which Green eventually overtook.
Green is best known for his role-player titles for the Showtime Lakers alongside Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He moved to the Suns, where his winning streak was most compromised. Knicks’ JR Reed elbowed Green in the mouth and knocked out two of his teeth. Coach Cotton Fitzsimmons continued his winning streak by playing Green for minutes in a mask in more than a dozen games.
He was on the Mavs when he broke the NBA record. This record-breaking coverage was not as prominent or celebrated as Ripken’s. Much of the article seemed to be distracted by Green’s self-proclaimed virginity.
NFL: Jeff Feegles
If I had to guess which player in the brutal NFL hasn’t missed a game in over 20 years, it’s probably a kicker or a punter.
And you would be right. Punter Jeff Feagles appeared in 352 games for the Patriots, Eagles, Cardinals, Seahawks and Giants from 1988 to 2010, appearing in every game. His winning streak ended with his retirement after the 2009 season.
But the impressive honorable mention is Brett Favre, with 299 consecutive runs (297 as a starter) from 1992-2010. edge rusher. ‘The opposing team’s quarterback has to go down, and he has to go down hard,’ says Raiders owner Al Davis once saidMr. Favre fell, but for 18 years he always got back up again.