Between the two of them Catton and Gill combined for a pretty outstanding 350 games played over their pro careers, a total that would likely tip the scales stacked up against some current NLL team’s entire roster.
While offensive stats are normally quoted when talking about players past, present and future, in a part-time league like the NLL, where players work 9-5’s from Monday to Friday, play an entire second “pro” season during the summer (among other things) in a sport as bone jarring and head cracking as lacrosse, to simply be healthy enough to suit up from week-to-week is a career stat worth applauding.
So who leads the all-time games played list? Surprise, surprise, it’s the same recently turned 42-year-old that owns virtually every major all-time all-anything honour in the sport, John Tavares. Tavares’ 236 regular season games, 31 playoff games and 267 career combined games played is tops in all three rundowns. Runner-ups in regular, post-season and combined games logged? Chris Driscoll, who started in the bigs a year after Tavares in 1993, is second all-time in regular season starts with 218 games. Pat McCready, who tacked on another three playoff games last season with Toronto, is second to his former Buffalo Bandits teammate with 27 playoff contests. And the couple years retired Dallas Eliuk is second to JT in combined games played at 237.
While Tavares’ 31 playoff games has him as the only player in the sport’s history to break the 30 post-season games played mark, 12 players have busted into the 20 games barrier, including McCready, Rich Kilgour, Jim Veltman, Eliuk, Regy Thorpe, Pat O’Toole, Gary Gait, Cory Bomberry, Colin Doyle, Steve Dietrich and Kevin Finneran. It truly is one of the league’s most elite clubs across the board, not easy to gain access too, although Mark Steenhuis, who should (knock on wood) still have several strong seasons ahead of him, already sits at 17 post-season games played.
After taking an indepth look at career American goal scorers earlier this off-season and then impact Americans logging post-season minutes during a Champion’s Cup winning season last week, today Regy Thorpe, who this past weekend dusted off the twig and bucket to suit up for the Americans at the Bowhunter Cup, leads all Yanks with an uber impressive 217 career pro games. Other US based players that have excelled enough to log some serious pro minutes… Tim Soudan (173), Finneran (163), Peter Jacobs (156), Jamie Hanford (152), Jake Bergey (142), Josh Sims (135), Brian Langtry (131) and maybe a bit of a surprise for some, but also former Rochester Knighthawk Jeremy Hollenbeck (127). Of the almost 140 players in league history that have played in excess of 100 combined regular season and playoff games, 26 are Americans.
Check out the NLL’s all-time games played leaders below, a list of players that arguably could and in most cases should be in the league’s Hall of Fame in coming seasons (unless they’re already in there). The names below are the true warriors of the National Lacrosse League. No flash in the pans allowed.
|John Tavares||236||John Tavares||31||John Tavares||267|
|Chris Driscoll||218||Pat McCready||27||Dallas Eliuk||237|
|Dallas Eliuk||213||Rich Kilgour||25||Chris Driscoll||233|
|Pat O'Toole||204||Jim Veltman||25||Pat O'Toole||227|
|Bob Watson||201||Dallas Eliuk||24||Rich Kilgour||225|
|Rich Kilgour||200||Regy Thorpe||24||Jim Veltman||219|
|Gary Gait||196||Pat O'Toole||23||Gary Gait||219|
|Steve Dietrich||195||Gary Gait||23||Bob Watson||219|
|Dan Teat||195||Cory Bomberry||23||Regy Thorpe||217|
|Jim Veltman||194||Colin Doyle||22||Steve Dietrich||216|
|Regy Thorpe||193||Steve Dietrich||21||Pat McCready||215|
|Colin Doyle||193||Kevin Finneran||20||Colin Doyle||215|
|Shawn Williams||191||Mike Accursi||19||Dan Teat||211|
|Pat McCready||188||Steve Toll||19||Mike Accursi||207|
|Mike Accursi||188||Tim Soudan||19||Shawn Williams||207|
|Jason Wulder||188||Mike Hasen||19||Cory Bomberry||206|
|Cory Bomberry||183||Bob Watson||18||Dan Stroup||196|
|Dan Stroup||182||Curt Malawsky||18||Jason Wulder||195|
|Josh Sanderson||176||Pat Coyle||18||Steve Toll||192|
|Steve Toll||173||Kaleb Toth||17||Josh Sanderson||189|
|Chris Gill||173||Mark Steenhuis||17||Chris Gill||186|
|Derek Malawsky||169||Kyle Couling||17||Derek Malawsky||184|
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