Only 13 players have ever played 1,600 games or more at the NHL. That's it 13. And New York Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara is one of them. He hit that mark last season while playing for the Washington Capitals.
He's added another 51 games to that 1,600 game marker. His 1,651st game was two nights ago in Seattle. That night, Chara matched the mark set by Chris Chelios as the defenseman with the most games played in NHL history.
Today in San Jose, Chara will break that record. By hitting the ice in California Chara will hit 1,652 games at the NHL level. An incredible number of games played by a single player. Big congratulations to the big man as he break the record tonight.
A quick look at the stops on his way to hitting that record.
New York Islanders: Zdeno Chara will break record tonight
Drafted by the Islanders in the third round of the 1996 NHL entry draft. He made his debut in November of 1997 against the Detroit Red Wings, playing 7:03. A few years later, with 231 games played with the Isles, they regrettably traded him to the Ottawa Senators for Alexei Yashin.
In Ottawa, Chara played 299 games where he showed signs of what would become a Hall of Fame defenseman. Finished in the top 10 for the Norris in this final three years with Ottawa.
Signing with Boston as a free agent, Chara played another 1,073 games. Winning the Norris once, finishing in the top 10 for voting another six times, winning the Messier trophy and of course the Staley Cup in 2011.
That's 1,553 games played before even hitting the Washington Capitals in 2020-21 and then the Islanders this year. Now add those 98 games between the Caps and Isles and Chara matches the record. What an incredIncredible achievement.
In those 1,652 games, Chara has 207 goals and 674 points. Those 674 points rank him 30th all-time for production from the back end. So while Chara was never a top offensive threat he is one of the top offensive players from the blue line in NHL history. Again, incredible.