By Jeff Doner
The last time defenseman Jay Bouwmeester missed a game, the Toronto Maple Leafs were on their way to a franchise record 103-point season and the Pittsburgh Penguins were toiling at the bottom of the NHL standings. Having played 566 consecutive games since 2004, Bouwmeester finds himself with the 10th-longest streak in NHL history and is the league’s reigning active ironman. As amazing as his mark is, it’s still a far cry from the one set by Doug Jarvis, who played a stunning 964 consecutive games from 1975-1988 with Montreal, Washington and Hartford.
Also making his way up the list is Canucks center Henrik Sedin. At 558 consecutive games, the Swede is one of the most durable players in the league. Steven Stamkos is also one to watch, as the 22-year-old fitness nut is the new Tampa Bay ironman (256) after linemate Martin St-Louis took a puck to the face in practice, ending his streak at 499 games.
Other notable streaks broken in 2011-12: R.J. Umberger 380 (Jan. 10), Brad Boyes 369 (Nov. 23), Chris Phillips 311 (Dec. 23), Jay McClement 275 (Nov. 8), Claude Giroux 230 (Dec. 10), Blake Wheeler 223 (Jan. 14), Henrik Tallinder 217 (Dec. 13).
As a 2005 fourth round draft pick, Yandle has already played 343 games for the Desert Dogs.
Vermette will look to keep his streak running with a new team after being dealt to the playoff-hopeful Phoenix Coyotes.
At 36 years old, Timonen is the oldest player on this ironman list.
The Kings captain is one of seven players to play all 60 games for them this season.
With five goals and eight points in his past three games, the NHL’s leading goal-scorer is also proving to be one of the most durable.
This crash-and-bang power forward is leading his team through another late-season surge in the Western Conference.
The 24-year-old center has not missed a game in his career. He broke into the NHL in 2007 with Edmonton.
Calgary’s grizzled captain will try to keep his streak running while attempting to get his team back into the playoff picture.
Despite an injury scare when Henrik took a puck to the foot, the Swede kept his streak alive when test results came back negative.
The Flames defenseman is chasing down Mark Recchi, who played 570 consecutive games between 1991 and 1998 for Philadelphia and Montreal.
The THN.com Top 10 appears Wednesdays only on TheHockeyNews.com.
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