Valtteri Filppula will play his 900th NHL game on Thursday night, a number that carries a lot of weight and respect in a hockey locker room.
“When you have longevity in this league and you’re productive. It just means you’ve been a good player,” Head Coach Barry Trotz said. “He’s probably been one of those quietly good players in the league for a long, long time. I’ve seen him when he came into the league and hopefully he’s got a number of years left and the way he’s playing this year it seems like he does.”
Leo Komarov and Tom Kuhnhackl, were both impressed by their linemate’s milestone. Filppula currently has the most games played of any player on the Isles roster.
“It’s a good number and hopefully he’ll still play way longer. He’s been in the league and he’s a professional at everything he does,” Komarov said. “It’s just the way he takes care of himself for hockey. He lives for hockey. He
works out a lot and stuff like that. Obviously he’s not the fastest player in the world out there, but he’s still really skillful and makes good plays with the puck.”
Filppula, who has 16 points (7G, 9A) in 23 games this season, said luck plays a role in longevity, as he hasn’t had to miss significant time due to injuries, but he hopes that this isn’t his last milestone. Filppula, who won a Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2009, is 100 games away from getting a silver stick for 1,000 career games.
“For everybody, this is something they’ve wanted to do for a long time growing up it’s been a dream and having a chance to stay here for a while, it’s something I’m proud of,” Filppula said.
Here’s the breakdown of Filppula’s 899 games so far:
Detroit (2005-13): 483GP, 100G, 151A, 251P
Tampa Bay (2013-17): 292GP, 52G, 119A, 171P
Philadelphia (2017-18): 101GP, 16G, 25A, 41P
Islanders (2018-19): 23G, 7G, 9A, 16P