Before tonight’s 3-0 shutout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the San Jose Sharks honored defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic for having played 1,000 NHL games, a mark he reached on December 14, in a 4-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. The 32-year-old is the first defender in franchise history to have played all 1,000 games with the Sharks. He also leads defensemen in the franchise in career games played and is second in points and assists.
With his wife and one of their three dogs (Kelly, to be precise — and we were informed over the PA that the other two were watching from home) beside him, a video played on the jumbotron highlighting his 14-year career with the Sharks. You can watch it below:
He was also greeted by his captains on the ice. Captain Logan Couture came out on crutches and with a boot, still a few weeks away from returning from a fractured ankle. Recently injured Assistant Captain Tomas Hertl was also there, walking on his own accord, albeit with a brace on his left knee, as well as Joe Thornton. It’s important to note that Couture was the only one of the captains to pet Kelly Vlasic, who was being an extremely good girl the entire time.
General Manager Doug Wilson presented Vlasic with traditional silver stick to represent 1,000 NHL games played. He also received a crystal NHL award, a hydrofoil surfboard, an engraved 1.5 liter bottle of champagne and an oil painting of himself in both Sharks and Team Canada jerseys to celebrate his accolades.
Prior to the game, the Sharks also had a short announcement honoring Aaron Dell as the Sharks’ player of the Month for January. This marks the first time Dell has won a player of the month award. His play has certainly helped stop some of the bleeding from earlier in the season, notching a 5-3-0 record and a .925 save percentage in the new year. Over the last four weeks, Dell tied for fourth among all NHL goaltenders with five wins and his 233 saves ranked sixth.