Sabres with the M

by Ryan

On Friday I was looking through some game recaps and found out that Jason Arnott played in his 1,000th career game back on December 20th. He was honored with a silver stick by the NHL before the game on Thursday against Pittsburgh, which is a pretty cool way of recognizing the feat. Only about three percent of all NHL players will reach that mark, so it certainly is a unique thing for players.

Oddly enough, on Saturday Brian Rolston played in his 1,000th game as well, which means a silver stick is coming his way, too. That got me thinking about the silver stick and how many of them have been given out to Sabres players. The current team is fairly young, but we’ve seen some great players come our way over the years. Here’s what I came up with through a little digging.

There are only two players who have played their entire career with the Sabres and totaled over 1,000 games. The first is, of course, Gilbert Perrault (1191), while the other is Craig Ramsay (1070). Mike Ramsey is third in games played with 911, but he did amass 1,000 games played with seasons in Pittsburgh and Detroit.

Other than Ramsey there are quite a few Sabres who have totaled silver stick-worthy careers split with different teams. Players such as Phil Housley, Doug Gilmour, Tim Horton, Pierre Turgeon, James Patrick, Dale Hawerchuk, Stu Barnes, Chris Gratton, Alexei Zhitnik, Eddie Shack, Don Lever, Petr Svoboda, and Mike Foligno are all on the list. I’m sure I missed someone, but those are the players that stood out.

Of course the big question is if there are any current Sabres at or near 1,000 games played. Let’s take a look at the active roster.

Teppo Numminen- 1357
Craig Rivet- 769
Jaroslav Spacek- 663
Jochen Hecht- 580
Maxim Afinogenov- 555
Toni Lydman- 554
Adam Mair- 448
Tim Connolly- 446
Ales Kotalik- 405
Henrik Tallinder- 358
Derek Roy- 314
Thomas Vanek- 287
Jason Pominville- 264
Paul Guastad- 243
Andrew Peters- 196
Daniel Paille- 160
Drew Stafford- 144
Nathan Paetsch- 134
Clarke MacArthur- 97
Matt Ellis- 88
Andrej Sekera- 81
Patrick Kaleta- 70
Mike Weber- 18
Mark Mancari- 10

Chris Butler- 10
Nathan Gerbe- 6
Tim Kennedy- 1

Teppo is the only active Sabre with more than 1,000 games played, and he passed that mark years ago. Craig Rivet is next in line at 769, but he’s still got a long way to go. There is plenty of youth on the team, but only two players with permanent roster spots (Sekera and Kaleta) have less than a full season under their collective belts. Of course all this will change tomorrow, but I thought it would be fun to look at the team and it’s history through this particular milestone.

Oh, and our good friend Miroslav Satan is currently sitting at 990 career games played. Let’s hope his silver stick is a little tarnished and demands to be its own agent.