It's always satisfying to see someone's hard work pay off.
The guys on this list are approaching significant markers that are seasons upon seasons in the making. Most players act nonchalant and indifferent when asked about individual achievements, but we still think their accomplishments are pretty dang cool.
Here are seven major milestones to keep an eye on once the 2022-23 campaign gets underway.
Kessel: Coming for the ironman streak
Let's get the slam dunk one out of the way first: Phil Kessel is just eight games away from surpassing Keith Yandle to set the NHL's new ironman record. Barring any setbacks, he will suit up for his 990th consecutive game when the Vegas Golden Knights take on the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 25. Kessel will tie Yandle the night before against the Toronto Maple Leafs, his former team.
For almost 1,000 straight games, nothing - not even injuries, illnesses, or the birth of his first child - has stopped Kessel from lacing up his skates. His longevity in the league is a marvel, and it'll be interesting to see how far he can go. Will Kessel play in all 82 games in 2022-23 to extend his streak to 1,064, or will the veteran, who'll be 35 by the time the season starts, end up watching some Golden Knights games from the press box?
Crosby and Ovechkin: Nearing 1,500 points
Yep, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin are vying for the same milestone this season. Now we can all argue about who will hit 1,500 points first. Feasibly, both players can pull it off this season: Crosby is currently sitting at 1,409 career points, meaning he's 91 away from becoming the 15th player in NHL history to accomplish the feat, while Ovechkin is one ahead of him at 1,410.
Let's start with the Pittsburgh Penguins star first, and for the purpose of this exercise, let's assume Crosby can stay healthy enough to play a full 82-game season. If Crosby wants to hit 91 points in 82 contests, he'll need to produce at around a 1.11 point-per-game rate. The good news for him is he's only failed to hit that mark three times in his career. The only thing holding him back here is time - Crosby hasn't played in a complete 82-game campaign since 2017-18. If he misses a couple games here and there, the feat is obviously still accomplishable, but the window gets tighter and tighter.
As for the Washington Capitals captain, he hit 90 points on the nose over 77 contests in 2021-22, so he'll be just fine if he pulls that off again. However, Ovechkin didn't produce at a point-per-game rate in 2019-20 or 2020-21, which will be a must to get to 1,500 points this campaign.
Fortunately, the pair of stars are signed for multiple years beyond this season, so if they don't hit it this time, there's always the next go-around.