The NHL's All-Time Team Of Players Who Fell Shy Of 1K Games

The Red Wings are well represented.

Will Burchfield
July 17, 2020 - 2:11 pm
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I'm a hockey nerd. So are a few of my friends. We have a big place in our hearts for Dominic Moore, the perfect fourth-line center who lasted 15 years in the NHL while averaging about the same number of points per season. As he often does, Moore came up in one of our recent conversations. Wait, he played *how* many games!?

897. 

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It sort of blew our minds. That's a lot of games. Hall-of-Famers Peter Forsberg and Pavel Bure barely managed 700. Ryan Miller, the NHL's longest-tenured active goalie, hasn't cleared 800 and probably won't. It takes a rare combination of talent, durability and good fortune to play 897 games in the NHL. 

Hence the glory of 1,000. We all wished Moore could have gotten there. We felt he deserved it. The conversation continued and suddenly we were digging up names like Manny Malhotra -- 991 GP! -- and Radek Bonk -- 969! It was our buddy Kit who eventually made the decision. We have to make a team: the Almost-1,000 All-Stars. 

So we did. Through extensive procrastination on hockey-reference.com, we compiled a list of players, debated their merits, juggled our lines, D pairings and goalies and sent about 500 unsolicited texts to the other two members of our group. Andy and Teddy were good sports. 

I banged the drum loudly for Petr Nedved. I just did, okay? He would ultimately be bumped from second-line center to healthy scratch. This seemed fair. Jack came up with the best player on our squad: Mario Lemieux. He also came up with Rocket Richard. Jack was pretty important, but don't tell him that. Kit, our spreadsheet whiz, introduced us to Hall of Fame defenseman Fern Flaman and doubled down on mellifluous monikers with Marty McSorley. He also assembled a fourth line for the ages. 

While we're here, I would like to take credit for Rod Langway, the Minister of Defense. Not that I really knew of him beforehand, or his fabulous nickname during his career with the Caps. If there was one reward to this pointless exercise, it's that we all became better hockey fans. Students of the game, if you will.

Welp, I'm rambling, and you're probably not reading anymore. You're here for a roster. And I'm here to give it to you: the NHL's All-Time Team of Players Deserving of 1,000 Games. Before you bring up Bobby Orr, remember that the player must have logged between 900-999 games. That's the 'deserving' part. Not that Bobby Orr didn't deserve to play 1,000 games. He did! He deserved to play 3,000!!

But we wanted to recognize those guys who narrowly missed out. The best Dominic Moore's.