Henrik Sedin’s ironman streak will end tomorrow when he doesn’t dress for Vancouver’s game in Edmonton.
Sedin was approaching 11 years without having missed an NHL regular season game. He was at 679 consecutive, which was still 285 shy of the record set by Doug Jarvis from 1975 to 1988. Of course, Jay Bouwmeester of St. Louis has been slightly ahead of Sedin for each of those 11 years. JBo is at 683 games and counting.
Sedin had been playing the past couple of weeks with a hand injury so severe he couldn’t take faceoffs. A supreme passer/playmaker at the best of times, Sedin passed up shot after shot in recent games. He’s had just eight shots in the past eight games. His average shots per game the past eight seasons is close to two.
Then, in a Jan. 16 game against Phoenix, Sedin took a cross check to the ribs from Martin Hanzal that clearly caused damage. In the next game against Calgary Jan. 18, Sedin doubled over on the ice after a mild push from T.J. Brodie in the first period. Canucks coach John Tortorella wouldn’t play him any more other than a few shifts in the second period.
The last time Sedin missed a game was Feb. 23, 2003.
The streak was important to Sedin and the Canucks to the point he played just 22 seconds in a meaningless late-season game a few years ago before shutting things down in preparation for the playoffs.
Sedin’s streak of 679 games is sixth all-time.
After Jarvis is Gary Unger at 914 games. Unger’s streak ended in 1979 when he dressed for a game but didn’t play.
Steve Larmer’s streak ended at 884 games in 1993 due to a contract dispute with the Chicago Blackhawks. Craig Ramsay is fourth at 776 followed by Bouwmeester and Sedin.
The longest current streaks behind Bouwmeester now are Anaheim’s Andrew Cogliano at 509 and Antoine Vermette of Phoenix at 359 followed by teammate Keith Yandle at 351.
Brian Costello is The Hockey News’s senior editor and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Brian Costello on Twitter at @BCostelloTHN