Patrick Marleau played his 1,768th game Monday night, breaking Gordie Howe's NHL career record. Which naturally led to questions about whether anyone would ever break Marleau's still-increasing games benchmark.
"The modern game, the speed, the physicality ... players are playing at a young age, but it's very difficult to be as durable as Patty has been. It's a long time. It's pretty special," said Logan Couture, Marleau's San Jose Sharks teammate.
So the record is Marleau's forever?
"Records are made to be broken, though. That's the old saying, right?" Couture said. "So we'll see."
The NHL could see a few other big records fall over the next few seasons, depending on the pursuers' durability, execution and -- let's face it -- good fortune. Here are six of them, ranked by feasibility:
6. Most career goals: Wayne Gretzky (894)
This is the big one. This is the MLB career home run record falling. This is LeBron James catching Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most career points in the NBA. Wayne Gretzky's 894 career goals in 1,487 games is not only the NHL's most heralded record, but for many years its most seemingly unattainable one.
Jaromir Jagr (766 goals) might have caught him, were it not for work stoppages and a multiyear detour to the Kontinental Hockey League. Now, it's Alex Ovechkin who has the inside track to top Gretzky as hockey's greatest goal scorer of all time, with 730 through 1,194 games.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Ovechkin will need 270 games to score another 165 goals to move ahead of Gretzky, if he scores at his current career goals-per-game pace (a shade above 0.61).
Ovechkin is 35 years old, but still scoring at an impressive clip of 0.58 goals per game over the past five seasons. Even if you drop that pace down to 0.50, to adjust for a potential drought, he would need another 330 games to catch the Great One.