1,768 games later, Patrick Marleau now sits atop the NHL standings as the player who holds the record for most games played in League history. He surpassed Gordie Howe on Monday night in a touching ceremony that celebrated his journey through the NHL and up to this point in a long and storied career.
A series of tweets and well wishes from fans, media and players congratulated Marleau on his accomplishment. Here are some of the best:
A drawing that was posted on the NHL’s official Twitter account offers a fun look at the important pieces of Marleau’s journey. From the jerseys hanging in the closet of the team’s he played for, to a photo of his family (even his unofficially adopted ones in some Toronto Maple Leafs) front and center, this tweet highlights the seasons, games and memories of his NHL career.
Commemorative gloves were made for the occasion and a photo showing them off made its way around social media before the game on Monday. The gloves highlighted the teams he played for on one hand and the record he was breaking on the other.
His Wife Sends a Message
Patrick’s wife Christina’s message to Marleau was perhaps among the most touching. She wrote, “I don’t think there are words to accurately describe how proud we are of you. Not just your games played record, but who you are.” She added, “Your dedication to the the things you love go beyond hockey. The countless road trips where you’ve come home at 3AM, only to get up and drive the boys to school because you wanted to. Always giving everyone and everything you love your all.”
She goes onto talk about his devotion to the rink, his training and motivation to improve and asked that he simply take a second to enjoy what he’s accomplished. She then jokes that he might be still playing so he can make sure he gets in a daily nap.
So Much Respect
A tweet from Penguins executive Brian Burke was just one of many that sent a show of appreciation and respect to Marleau for what he accomplished. Burke’s tweet read: “It takes hard work, talent, preparation, toughness, and luck to have a long career in the NHL. To play as long as Patty Marleau has, it also takes character, leadership, and tremendous people skills. Congrats on a legendary run!”
“I Just Love It”
When asked by Drew Remenda, “what keeps you coming to the rink?”, Marleau broke down in a post-game interview and said “I just love it… there’s nothing else like it.”
You can see a video below of Marleau reflecting on the night and what it meant to him:
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