The NHL has a new “Iron Man.” At 13-22, the Flyers don’t have a lot to celebrate this season but on Tuesday night they were happy as defenseman Keith Yandle broke the NHL record for most consecutive games played. What turned out to be a 4-3 loss to the Islanders was Yandle’s 965th straight game in the NHL.
The streak dates back to March 26, 2009, which was his third season in the NHL. Yandle, 35, is now in his 16th season.
“It wasn’t really something I expected,” Yandle said on Monday night when he tied the record, according to ESPN. “I just kind of never really thought about it. I saw the guys standing for me, cheering. All the fans. It definitely meant a lot.”
He passed former forward Doug Jarvis to break the record. Jarvis did not miss a regular-season game from Oct. 8, 1975 to Oct. 10, 1987, spanning multiple teams.
Flyers interim coach Mike Yeo spoke highly about Yandle setting the new mark on Monday.
“It’s an incredible accomplishment,” Yeo said. “No. 1, you have to love the game, you have to battle through sickness, injuries. A level of professionalism to come to the rink every day and be ready to go. And he’s a phenomenal teammate and I thought he played a hell of a game tonight.”
While Yandle is now in sole possession of the record, we could have another record-breaker right behind him. Arizona Coyotes forward Phil Kessel, who is 34, has the second-longest active streak at 941 games, according to NHL.com.