Top 10: NHL workhorses

Bryan Mcwilliam
Minnesota Wild v Nashville Predators

Earlier this week, Henrik Sedin’s ironman streak of consecutive games played ended at 679 games, an impressive feat that showcased just how durable the Swedish center is.

Not only did Sedin play in a lengthy number of consecutive games, but he’s also played 1,063:02 of total ice time so far this season, which despite being an impressive number actually falls behind brother Daniel (1,123:52) and Canucks’ teammates Chris Tanev (1,088:53), Jason Garrison (1,114:56), Ryan Kesler (1,153:32) and Dan Hamhuis (1,279:54).

Not many players can sustain a high-level of play over long periods of time, but there are workhorses in the NHL who log heavy minutes and really earn their paycheques. Below are the top minute-eaters in the NHL this season:

10. Andy Greene, D, New Jersey Devils

The 31-year-old Devils’ defenseman leads his team in total time on ice with 1,290:09 and has already set a career-high in goals with seven. Greene is trying to duplicate or better his 2009-10 season where he earned 37 points over 78 games, which included four game winning goals. He currently has two game-winners on the year.

9. Andrei Markov, D, Montreal Canadiens

Being the second oldest defenseman on the team at 35 doesn’t stop Markov from logging serious minutes. His 1,291:32 leads the team and his 26 points ranks him second amongst team defenseman behind last season’s Norris Trophy winner P.K. Subban.

8. Ryan McDonagh, D, New York Rangers

McDonagh, who will skate for Team USA at the Sochi Olympics, is a serious minute-muncher for the Blueshirts. His 1,306:36 of total ice time leads the team and his 29 points leads all defenseman on the squad. He’s just 24 years old, so let’s see if he can continue to keep up the torrid pace as his career continues to blossom.

7. Dustin Byfuglien, D, Winnipeg Jets

The 28-year-old native of Minneapolis, Minn., is an absolute monster on his skates, standing six-foot-five and weighing in at 265lbs. You’d think a man that size would tire out quickly, but that’s not the case with the Jets’ D-man. Byfuglien has logged 1,314:41 of total ice time this season.

6. Shea Weber, D, Nashville Predators

Weber is one of the best defenseman in the league and it can be argued that he may indeed be the best. Not only does the 28-year-old anchor the Predators’ blueline and possess a huge shot, he also logs serious minutes in the ‘Music City.’ He’s logged 1,346:03 this season.

5. Drew Doughty, D, Los Angeles Kings

The London, ON., native was an obvious selection for Team Canada’s Olympic squad, having cemented himself as one of the NHL’s best defenseman since entering the league in 2008-09. Doughty also logs incredible minutes for the Kings, having played 1,351:02 of total ice time so far this season.

4. Andrew MacDonald, D, New York Islanders

Talk about getting bang for your buck. The 27-year-old MacDonald makes just $550,000, but has played an astonishingly high 1,371:53 minutes of hockey for the Isles this season. Maybe it’s time for a raise?

3. Erik Karlsson, D, Ottawa Senators

One of the game’s brightest defenseman has already won himself a Norris Trophy and he’s just 23 years old. He also does the bulk of the work on Ottawa’s blueline, having logged 1,396:30 of total ice time. And he’s doing this after coming back from an Achilles injury that could have potentially limited his mobility and endurance.

2. Brian Campbell, D, Florida Panthers

When you make over $7 million a season, you better show that you’re worth it. Campbell has logged 1,426:33 of total ice time this season on a Panthers’ team that sits second to last in the Eastern Conference.

1. Ryan Suter, D, Minnesota Wild

You guessed it. With his ‘farmer’s strength’ and everlasting endurance, the 29-year-old Suter leads the NHL in total time on the ice. He never seems to tire logging 1,565: 23, over one hundred minutes more than Campbell, and he plays a solid and consistent game for a Wild club that is scratching and clawing to keep a playoff spot.

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