Phil Kessel Seeks To Stand Alone As The NHL’s “Ironman”

Story posted October 27, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Matt Cabram

Although he isn’t a big fan of the spotlight, Vegas Golden Knights forward Phil Kessel will have all the attention on him Tuesday night.

On Monday night, Kessel tied retired defenseman Keith Yandle’s record for consecutive games played (989) on Monday against Toronto. Kessel will stand alone when he dresses in the Golden Knights game in San Jose giving him the NHL’s all time ironman.

It’s already hard enough to dress and skate to play in the best league in the world. To play in 990 games, let alone 990 in row is a great accomplishment for Kessel to reach.

The two-time Stanley Cup champion said he’ll be glad to put the milestone behind him and focus on the rest of the season, in which he intends to help Vegas a return to the postseason. Last season he and the Arizona Coyotes along with the Golden Knights missed out on the playoffs last year.

Kessel stated there have been some times he thought the streak would come to an end, but he has battled through a few minor injuries and endured some pain. He was able to push through while cherishing his time with all five teams, including his first several months with the Knights.

“It’s a cool thing, it means I’ve played a lot of games, right?” Kessel said Monday. “No one's at 100 percent ever in this league. People think they are, there’s just no way,” he said. “You always get bumps and bruises and nicks and don’t feel great. You just keep going.”

Kessel’s consecutive games streak began with his tenure in Toronto playing for the Leafs. The 35-year-old forward has not missed a single contest since November 3, 2009. Previous ironman Keith Yandle's streak took place from March 26, 2009 to March 29, 2022 and came to an end on April 2, when the Philadelphia Flyers chose to scratch the defenseman.

Before Yandle set the latest ironman streak last season in January, the record was held by longtime holder Doug Jarvis, who appeared in 964 straight games from Oct. 8, 1975 to Oct. 10, 1987.

Vegas acquired Kessel over the offseason, signing the three-time NHL All Star to a one-year, $1.5-million deal. Kessel, who has 399 goals and 559 assists, has played in 1,211 career games with Boston, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Arizona and Las Vegas.

Kessel is just one goal away from the 400 milestone club looking to become the 13th American-born player to score 400 goals. Kessel also nearly scored his 400th goal in the previous game against Toronto, but a Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe challenged, and it was determined to be offside.

“I have great experiences with every city, they’re all different,” Kessel said. “I like to play, I enjoy going out there and competing and playing the games. It’s still fun to me. I’ve loved playing in the NHL for these 17 years and hopefully, I can continue.”


Matt Cabram is a third-year majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, email