This season hasn’t exactly made planning for this moment easy. Though it was likely that Patrick Marleau would break the record for all-time NHL games played, it wasn’t a certainty, — between injuries, illness, trade rumors and season with a number of rescheduled games that is probably also record-setting, the window was smaller than it would’ve been in a normal season.
But the Vegas Golden Knights, despite being the Vegas Golden Knights, were gracious hosts under uncertain circumstances and honored Patrick Marleau for breaking the record for All-Time NHL Games Played tonight.
After the first shift — where Marleau opened on the wing — this message from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman played on the jumbotron (transcription below):
“To be merely mentioned in the same sentence as Gordie Howe is an achievement most hockey players can only dream about.