The Montreal Canadiens had a special milestone to celebrate Monday night as Tomas Plekanec played his 1000th NHL game in his 15th career season.
Very few NHL teams can rival the Montreal Canadiens when it comes to making league history. Monday night saw Tomas Plekanec reach a special feat that not too many players get to by the end of their careers. It’s a blessing as a whole to be drafted or get the opportunity to see games in the NHL. But to play 1000 games is an incredible accomplishment.
The Habs honoured Plekanec for it during one of the TV timeouts Monday night. The fans at Bell Centre gave the 35-year-old a standing ovation for game number 1000 in his 15th career season in the NHL.
Plekanec was drafted back in 2001 as Montreal selected him in the third-round at 71st overall. He made his professional debut in North America during the 2002/03 season playing 77 games for the Hamilton Bulldogs putting up 19 goals and 27 assists. He played his first pair of NHL matches the season after, but it wasn’t until 2005/06 when Plekanec would make the Montreal Canadiens full time.
The Czech native has been a journeyman for the Habs ever since. Plekanec scored his first NHL goal six goals in against the Toronto Maple Leafs which ended up being the game-winner in the third period.
He would go on to score another 232 goals and 371 assists all with Montreal until the 2017/18 season where Plekanec was traded to Toronto only adding another two helpers to his career total.
Seeing him in blue in white after so many years in Habs colours was difficult to grasp, but it didn’t last too long as he would return to the place he belongs over the summer. And it all led up to the game against Detroit.
More from A Winning Habit
Plekanec became the 324th player in NHL history to hit 1000 and the 63rd to do it while playing with two or fewer teams overall. He probably would’ve liked to duplicate what the likes of Henri Richard, Bob Gainey, and Jean Beliveau did playing all games only with the Montreal Canadiens, but it’s still a special moment.
The Habs performed well for Plekanec who ended up making the night even better by scoring the second goal of the game in the opening period. It was vintage turtleneck driving down the wing and throwing the puck on net which ended up bouncing off players and finding it’s way in. Montreal went on to score another five (5) goals propelling the team to their second win in a row.
Plekanec has had an impact on the Montreal Canadiens for a long time, and although he may not be an instant go-to option, he’s still a reliable one. He’s played well in these two games so far which will provide Claude Julien with further tough decisions ahead.
Want your voice heard? Join the A Winning Habit team!
Despite that, playing as long as Plekanec is something the young players on the team should strive for. His love for the game, the city, and the franchise has propelled him to become one of the best to wear the sweater. Where it takes him from here will be another journey in his story.