November 15th, the night that the Ducks ended their losing streak in Wednesday’s game against the Boston Bruins was a special game for one of the Anaheim Ducks. Antoine Vermette played in his 1,000th NHL career game. He has played in the NHL for about 14 years, he was drafted on October 9, 2003, that is when he became a center for the Ottawa Senators. That was just the beginning of what would become a long and decorated career – Being able to play in 1,000 games is definately a long career in hockey. He has so far played with 5 different NHL clubs. Antoine Vermette started his career with the Ottawa Senators, from there he went to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes, traded to the Chicago Blackhawks, then went back to Arizona… He has now found a good home being the center for the Anaheim Ducks and that is where he hopefully will remain.
Photo by NHL
Antoine Vermette knew that this game was a special game for him, having some of friends and family members in the crowd is what I think would make this game extra special. Only Vermette can answer that.
According to the Anaheim Ducks, Antoine Vermette will prepare like he does for any other game, but he knows this one will be unique. “It’s going to be different,” Antoine Vermette said with a smile. “At the end of the day, it’s just another game, but at the same time, it’s not.”
According to the Anaheim Ducks, “The 35-year-old will become one of 17 active skaters and the 313th player in NHL history to reach 1,000 games. A Stanley Cup champion with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015, Vermette has gone on to record 505 points (223g/282a) in 999 career NHL games with Ottawa, Columbus, Phoenix/Arizona, Chicago and Anaheim.”
Thoughts from Antoine Vermette (on having played in 1,000 NHL career games): It’s exciting. I always had a lot of respect for that, as a younger guy, when I saw guys accomplishing that. Being in these shoes right now, I’m very humble, thankful and grateful about having a chance to perform in this league for that long. I’m trying to enjoy every moment.
Vermette will become the 10th player all-time to appear in his 1,000th game while a member of the Ducks and only second to do so at Honda Center. The first all-time at Honda Center is Fredrik Olausson. Here is the list of the all-time players that have reached this accomplishment as a member of the Anaheim Ducks:
1-Fredrik Olausson (Dec. 11, 2002 vs Washington @Anaheim)
2-Scott Niedermayer (Nov 28, 2006 @Edmonton)
3-Teemu Selanne (Dec. 31, 2006 @Minnesota)
4-Bret Hedican (Nov. 21, 2008 @St. Louis)
5-Todd Marchant (Dec. 22, 2008 @Vancouver)
6-Chris Pronger (Feb. 20, 2009 @Detroit)
7-Rob Niedemayer (March 19, 2009 @Phoenix)
8-Saku Koivu (March 12, 2012 @Colorado)
9-Shawn Horcoff (March 2016 @Toronto)
10-Antoine Vermette (Nov. 15, 2017 vs Boston @Anaheim)
Randy Carlyle is one of many NHL players that have reached 1,000 games. At the end of Randy Carlyle’s NHL career (as a player) had played in 1,055 NHL games. Thoughts from Head Coach Randy Carlyle (on Vermette’s 1,000th game): It takes perserverance from the individual. I don’t think there are a lot of people that can understand what it takes on a day-to-day basis. How many times you put skates on for practices and games. If you double up and say there are 1,000 more practices that went into it, and I can probably guarentee there are more than 1,000, probably closer to 1,500 practices that you have to get ready for.
Vermette taking the draw in the faceoff vs the Sabres Photo by Getty Images
Antoine Vermette isn’t putting up the kind of offensive numbers that he did in the past but there is one thing that has remained consistant throughout his career and that would be his draw.
Vermette currently leads the NHL with a 63.9% faceoff win percentage (minimum of 50 faceoffs) and he ranks fourth in faceoff wins, he has won 216 faceoffs. According to the Anaheim Ducks, this season, Vermette has won 50% or more in 15 of 17 games, 60% in 13 games, 70% in four contests and 80% three times. Since joining the Anaheim Ducks last season (2016-17 season), Vermette is pacing the NHL with a 62.6% faceoff win percentage in 89 games (minimum of 1,000 faceoffs).
Thoughts from Head Coach Randy Carlyle (on Vermette’s faceoff skills): The first thing you’re going to look at is his faceoff prowess. He’s been a top faceoff man in the league for a number of years. He continues to do that for our hockey club.
After the Ducks talked with Bieska, Vermette’s milestone will not go unnoticed in the locker room.
Kevin Bieska (on Vermette playing 1,000 NHL games): We were just talking about that a little bit. To accomplish that, you have to be a good player. You have to be a great professional and take care of your body. I’m really happy for him. He deserves everything. He’s a true professional and a great teammate.
LET’S GO DUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Sources: Anaheim Ducks Player News- Ducks Daily and Twitter @AnaheimDucks
Sources are all by The Anaheim Ducks/ anaheimducks.com
Source: Kyle Shohara- “Vermette Set to Appear in 1,000th Career NHL Game”
Photos by The NHL