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WATCH: Kessel Takes First Shift, Officially Ties Ironman Streak



Phil Kessel, Vegas Golden Knights (Photo- NHL via Twitter)
Phil Kessel, Vegas Golden Knights (Photo- NHL via Twitter)

With his first shift in the first period of Tuesday night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Phil Kessel has tied with Keith Yandle as the NHL’s ironman. Both Yandle and Kessel have played in 989 straight NHL regular season games. Kessel can break the record Tuesday night against the San Jose Sharks.

Kessel hasn’t missed a game since Oct. 31, 2009, when he was a member of the Maple Leafs. His current streak started on Nov 3, 2009, which was 4,740 days ago. I was in fourth grade.

In these 989 games, Kessel has scored just under 400 goals, nearly 1,000 NHL points, received Lady Byng votes six times, been traded three times, and he has won two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A mixture of luck, his play style, and commitment to the great game of hockey all have resulted in Kessel breaking this milestone. Last season he even played a game before leaving for the birth of his son.

Kessel has persevered through a lot, such as having testicular cancer early in his career. But he is soon to be the NHL’s all-time leader in consecutive regular-season games played. Congrats to Phil the Thrill.

Updated Phil Kessel Milestone Tracker

  • 1,000 points (Has 957/needs 43)
  • 400 career goals (Has 399/Needs 1)
  • 600 career assists (Has 558/needs 42)
  • 10th all-time American-Born points (Has 957, behind Pat LaFontaine by 56)
  • 10th all-time American-Born goals (Has 399, behind Tony Amonte by 17)