Coyotes’ Phil Kessel moves to 2nd on NHL’s consecutive games played list

Mar 27, 2022, 6:15 PM

Arizona Coyotes right wing Phil Kessel (81) celebrates after scoring a goal during the third period...

Arizona Coyotes right wing Phil Kessel (81) celebrates after scoring a goal during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Anaheim Ducks in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Dec. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Arizona Coyotes right wing Phil Kessel has not missed a single game since Nov. 3, 2009.

That’s 4,530 days.

Kessel took the ice on Sunday against the Winnipeg Jets for his 965th consecutive game, which is now the second-longest ironman streak in NHL history.

The 34-year-old surpassed Doug Jarvis, who played from 1975-88. Keith Yandle of the Philadelphia Flyers holds the all-time mark at 988 games. His streak is active like Kessel’s.

“He’s still 20 years old … he brings enthusiasm every day,” head coach Andre Tourigny said in a press conference. “When you’re in it, you don’t look at those numbers that much. I know tonight he’s moving up to second all-time. It’s great for him. But at the same time there’s not much we can do about it other than winning the game and we can celebrate it.”

Kessel is one of three Coyotes who has played in every game this season. The other two are Clayton Keller and Shayne Gostisbehere.

The Coyotes looked into trading Kessel ahead of last Monday’s trade deadline, but they could not get a deal done largely due to his cap hit, general manager Bill Armstrong told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo.

Arizona is building toward the future and received interest for the veteran forward from other teams. Armstrong said the consolation of keeping him is still a beneficial option, and Kessel will continue to chase Yandle while with the Coyotes for at least the remainder of the season.

“That’s a huge thing when you’re doing deals in the NHL at the trade deadline, trying to get the money to match and teams just couldn’t do it,” Armstrong said. “For us, it’s okay. We get Phil and he’s done a great job for us and he’s played extremely hard.”

Kessel will be a free agent this summer.

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