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What Zdeno Chara and Jay Bouwmeester can train us about longevity and the Corridor of Fame

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Not that Zdeno Chara wanted to beef up his resume or add to his laundry listing of credentials, however the Boston Bruins blueliner earned one other feather in his cap nearly one week in the past when he skated in his 1,500th sport.
The milestone is notable for a number of causes, after all. Not solely is it an unimaginable testomony to Chara’s longevity, because the 42-year-old continues to skate upwards of 21 minutes per sport on the most effective bluelines within the NHL, however the towering defenseman amongst a uncommon class of rearguards. By reaching the 1,500-game plateau, Chara turns into the sixth defenseman to skate in as many video games, a feat he shares with Nicklas Lidstrom, Ray Bourque, Larry Murphy, Scott Stevens and Chris Chelios.
Price noting concerning the cohort Chara joined is that the 1,500-game membership isn’t the one fraternity he’ll be change into a member of alongside these 5 blueline titans. What the 5 defensemen who’ve beforehand reached that distinctive video games performed complete additionally all have in frequent is membership within the Hockey Corridor of Fame, and you’ll relaxation assured that it’s solely a matter of time earlier than Chara joins them. Little doubt he has the : seven end-of-season all-star nods, three convention championships, one Stanley Cup, one Norris Trophy and, the piece de resistance, the coveted Mark Messier Management Award.
An attention-grabbing factor occurred the identical night time Chara was feted for his newest achievement, nonetheless. Greater than midway throughout the continent, one other blueliner was celebrating the same, although not as prodigious, milestone. Hours after the Bruins blueliner took the ice for his 1,500th sport, St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester stepped into NHL motion for the 1,200th time. It was met with fanfare in St. Louis, the place Bouwmeester has a lot of the previous decade of his profession, however it wasn’t met with fairly the identical stage of admiration.
And, hey, that is smart. In any case, in contrast to Chara’s mark, Bouwmeester’s feat isn’t as uncommon. On the all-time listing, Bouwmeester now ranks 33rd in video games performed, having skated in two extra to deliver his complete to 1,202 profession contests. It needs to be famous, nonetheless, that there’s tread left on Bouwmeester’s tires. He’s 36, however he nonetheless strikes effectively, he nonetheless skates upwards of 21 minutes per outing and, although an unrestricted free agent at season’s finish, it might shock nobody had been he to play effectively into his late 30s. Assuming he stays wholesome and skates in one other 298 video games – every of the remaining 64 video games this season adopted by one other three campaigns would do the trick – Bouwmeester will be part of the 1,500-game membership by the point his profession is over and would be the seventh defenseman to take action.
The reality of the matter, although, is that Bouwmeester could very effectively be part of that membership solely to change into the proverbial sore thumb, the lone 1,500-game rearguard who doesn’t find yourself within the hallowed Corridor. He has the Stanley Cup, however with no particular person hardware to his title, not even an all-star nod, it’s unlikely he’ll ever get the decision.
However Bouwmeester gained’t be alone. He’s gained’t be the one participant whose spectacular profession longevity – and it’s spectacular given its rarity – gained’t be adopted by a visit to the Corridor of Fame. Listed below are the 10 gamers, in addition to a number of honorable mentions, whose prolonged NHL stays weren’t paired with sufficient particular person accomplishment to earn enshrinement:
(Word: Lively gamers and people who are thought of locks to change into Corridor of Famers have been excluded.)
Shane Doan – 1,540 GP (16th all-time)He’s a Coyotes legend and inarguably one of the crucial necessary figures in franchise historical past, however Doan’s function was by no means that of pure scorer, to which his totals attest. A constant 20-goal scorer, he eclipsed the 30-goal plateau twice and his career-best season was a 78-point marketing campaign. He gained the Messier Award and a King Clancy Memorial Trophy, however his trophy case from his NHL days is in any other case barren. Doan was the participant everybody would have cherished to have on their crew, however it’s not sufficient to get him into the Corridor.
Matt Cullen – 1,516 GP (19th all-time)Defenseman Rob Scuderi famously had a slip when requested about his function on the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 2009 Stanley Cup championship crew, calling him “the piece” as a substitute of “a chunk” of the puzzle. He was henceforth dubbed ‘The Piece’ by teammates, which stays one of many NHL’s all-time nice nicknames. If that title was to be handed to a participant extra deserving, nonetheless, it might be Cullen, who performed a lunchpail function on three Stanley Cup championship groups and was the consummate depth participant even into his 40s. Solely twice did Cullen rating 20 or extra targets and never as soon as did he rating 50 factors. He may do the whole lot effectively, however he was by no means a real star.
Rod Brind’Amour – 1,484 GP (25th all-time)There’s a worthwhile debate about Brind’Amour’s Corridor of Fame credentials, however that he has been eligible for greater than a decade and has not but been inducted lands him on this listing. Not is he a lock, significantly because the listing of those that awaiting induction grows with every year. Brind’Amour does, nonetheless, prime the listing in scoring with 1,184 factors and he does have particular person hardware. He gained back-to-back Selke Trophies in 2005-06 and 2006-07, main the Carolina Hurricanes, whom he now coaches, to the Stanley Cup through the former marketing campaign.
Glen Wesley – 1,457 GP (27th all-time)A teammate of Brind’Amour’s on the 2006 Stanley Cup-winning crew, Wesley is the primary defenseman featured on this group. However Wesley didn’t make his mark or carve out his spot within the NHL by being an elite producer or difficult for repeated Norrises. He was merely regular, a contributor who coaches may belief. His finest yr was a 58-point marketing campaign in 1993-94, however he didn’t earn a lot as a single Norris vote. The one honor he ever acquired votes for was the 1987-88 Calder Trophy. He completed a distant fourth in voting, although earned one first-place vote.
Pat Verbeek – 1,424 GP (33rd all-time)The unique ‘Little Ball of Hate’ is amongst an extremely uncommon group of NHLers. Solely three gamers in league historical past have scored 500 targets, 1,000 factors and racked up 2,000 or extra penalty minutes. That group consists of Corridor of Famer Brendan Shanahan, non-Corridor of Famer Keith Tkachuk and Verbeek, who may additionally rank behind Tkachuk, a two-time end-of-season all-star, in Corridor of Fame odds. Verbeek actually was a novel participant, a fan favourite throughout a unique period, and he has a Stanley Cup to his title.
Luke Richardson – 1,417 GP (34th all-time)Drafted seventh total in 1987 by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Richardson by no means actually fulfilled his potential, however that didn’t cease him from constantly incomes NHL minutes along with his heady play. He was ol’ dependable, typically a middle-pairing defenseman, however his sport was unspectacular – not that there’s something mistaken with that. He topped out at 21 factors and ended his profession with 201. Now he’s taken his sport behind the bench as an assistant with the Montreal Canadiens.
Dale Hunter – 1,407 GP (39th all-time)Just one participant in NHL historical past, Tiger Williams, accrued extra penalty minutes throughout their profession than Hunter, who wrapped up his time within the league having earned three,565 minutes in penalties. (The equal of two and a half days, for these questioning.) Hunter was greater than a tricky buyer, nonetheless. He had 9 20-goal seasons, six campaigns of 70 or extra factors and he acquired at the very least one vote for the Selke in 9 separate seasons. However with no championships, no trophies and no all-star nods, he stays an unlikely Corridor of Fame candidate.
Roman Hamrlik – 1,395 GP (41st all-time)Hamrlik occupied an attention-grabbing area throughout his period. By no means was he a top-tier rearguard, however he was typically among the many class of defenseman proper under. He was typically an efficient offensive producer and skated huge minutes, averaging upwards of 25 minutes in 4 campaigns throughout his mid-20s. His 1995-96 marketing campaign, by which he scored 16 targets and 65 factors, earned him Norris consideration, however that was the primary and solely time that occurred. He wouldn’t be on this listing had he maintained that stage of manufacturing. 
Doug Mohns – 1,391 GP (42nd all-time)On the time of his retirement, which got here following the 1974-75 season, solely 5 gamers in NHL historical past had performed extra video games than Mohns. All 5 of these gamers – Norm Ullman, Harry Howell, Tim Horton, Alex Delvecchio and Gordie Howe – are within the Corridor of Fame. Mohns was by no means of the identical caliber, however he did end fifth in Norris voting through the 1957-58 season.
Trevor Linden – 1,382 GP (44th all-time)A Canucks legend and fan-favorite ceaselessly. Linden completed second in Calder voting throughout his rookie marketing campaign, however that was as shut as he got here to sniffing any particular person hardware. That he doesn’t have a Stanley Cup to his title, regardless of coming oh-so-close, doesn’t assist his case. He was, in coach-speak, the type of participant groups win with, however he was by no means capable of preserve a spot among the many true stars within the league.
Honorable Mentions: Vincent Damphousse (1,378 GP), Teppo Numminen (1,372 GP), Jeremy Roenick (1,363 GP), Ron Stewart (1,353 GP), Kirk Muller (1,349 GP).
Additionally, a particular honorable point out to Dean Prentice, the longtime New York Rangers blueliner who handed away one week in the past at 87. Prentice was a one-time all-star who had a prolific 391-goal and 860-point profession, skating with the Rangers, Boston Bruins, Detroit Purple Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins and Minnesota North Stars. His 22-year profession spanned from the early 1950s on via to the 1973-74 marketing campaign, and he later returned to the sport to play a single season with the senior USHL Traverse Metropolis Bays, for whom he was a player-coach.
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Tags: lists, corridor of fameConnect: Concerning the AuthorJared ClintonJared Clinton is a author and net editor with The Hockey Information. He is been with the crew since 2014. He was born, raised and resides in Winnipeg, the place he will be discovered lacking the online on outside rinks throughout city.

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