Theo Fleury, in his book Playing with Fire, writes that if he were an NHL general manager he would draft Canadian juniors exclusively because they "get it." Although the league is less Canada-centric than it was in the previous century, Fleury's line of thinking still runs on the edges of mainstream thought.

Vinny Prospal is the perfect counterargument. Nobody gets it like he gets it.

Tonight, Prospal will play the 1,000th game of his NHL career when the Blue Jackets play host to the Buffalo Sabres. Let us put this in perspective.

More than 7,000 men have played in the league since it was formed in 1917. Prospal will be the 268th to play 1,000. He will be the sixth Czech to do it, and that is something, too. Bobby Holik, Roman Hamrlik, Jaromir Jagr, Radek Dvorak and Petr Svoboda have played 1,000 games. Petr Nedved, Martin Straka, Robert Lang and Dominik Hasek have not and never will.

"I am very proud of this accomplishment," Prospal said. "I also know you have to be lucky."