When Andrew Cogliano steps on to the SAP Center ice Saturday night he’ll hit a milestone that only three other NHL players have reached in the 100-year history of the league.
That feat will be joining Steve Larmer, Garry Unger and Doug Jarvis by playing in his 800th consecutive game.
The 30-year-old forward isn’t one to talk about the streak much, which started when broke into the league at age 20. In today’s game, even as players take care of their bodies in ways better than before, it’s quite amazing Cogliano has avoided injury that would cause him to sit out at least one game. The other thing, as he told the Orange County Register’s Eric Stephens, is that no coach in his 11-season career has decided he needed to spend a night as a healthy scratch.
“I think as I keep playing I hope that continues,” he said. “I just wanted to be someone who is a guy that the coaches want in because they think you’re helping the team.”
The way Cogliano takes care of his body has always amazed teammates. It helped that growing up his mother was a fitness instructor, emphasizing being active and eating healthy. When he reached the NHL, he began training with Matt Nichol, the creator of BioSteel and trainer of numerous athletes. These days he works with Andy O’Brien, Director of Sport Science and Performance for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“You can really look at a guy like him and learn a lot in terms of how he prepares for games, how he prepares for the summer, what he puts into his body, the rest that he gets,” said former teammate Sam Gagner. “I don’t think there’s anybody that’s a better pro in the league. You look up to Cogs for what he’s been able to accomplish and hopefully he keeps going on for a long, long time.”
As Cogliano told me last year, it was those early days with the Edmonton Oilers, being around veterans like Shawn Horcoff, Steve Staios, Jarret Stoll and Ethan Moreau, that opened his eyes to just what it takes to last in this league. That early education could pay off with a remarkable record.
If Cogliano, an unrestricted free agent this summer, continues his streak, he’ll pass Jarvis during game No. 15 of the 2019-20 NHL season.
“I think if it wasn’t for me being in Edmonton maybe I wouldn’t be how I am now,” he said.