Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle stretched his “Ironman Streak” to 915 consecutive games on Saturday, which ranks second all-time in NHL history. Doug Jarvis ranks first all-time with 964 games in a row.
As you may remember, Yandle teetered on the edge of seeing his streak end due to a healthy scratch. Instead, he scored his 100th career goal while keeping that consecutive games run going.
Yandle, 34, broke a tie with Garry Unger to move to second all-time with those 915 games in a row.
The NHL’s graphic on that matter gives you an idea that Yandle has some contemporaries. Frankly, it’s also simply a visual treat:
Keith Yandle is skating his 915th consecutive regular-season game dating to March 26, 2009, passing Garry Unger (914 GP from Feb. 24, 1968 – Dec. 21, 1979) for sole possession of the second-longest “Ironman” streak in NHL history. #NHLStats: https://t.co/QiXDVnkELl pic.twitter.com/1IcJQI0rqq
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 24, 2021
Keith Yandle pushes ‘Ironman Streak’ to 915 games; Marleau, Kessel close
First and foremost, it will be interesting to see if Yandle can surpass Jarvis for the all-time Ironman Streak at 965+ games in a row.
But it will also be fascinating to see if Yandle ends up being the active player with the longest NHL Ironman Streak.
It’s difficult to picture Patrick Marleau, 41, exceeding Yandle and Jarvis for the all-time mark. On the other hand, Phil Kessel is slightly younger than Yandle at age 33. For those who’ve followed the careers of each of Kessel, Marleau, and Yandle, it’s extremely funny that these are three players putting together epic consecutive games played streaks.
(Maybe those comments about toughness and heart weren’t very smart, huh? Or maybe those three have been smart enough to keep themselves out of danger? Probably a combination of the two.)
Contracts and other factors could also come into play when it comes to streaks for Kessel and Yandle. Yandle’s signed at a $6.35 million AAV through 2022-23, while Kessel’s $6.8M AAV (post-salary-retention) expires after 2021-22.
Could factors like contract buyouts, healthy scratches, and/or the Seattle Kraken expansion draft be as relevant as Yandle and Kessel avoiding injury?
Wherever those two end up, it’s impressive stuff.