Kings' Ryan Smyth, Ducks' Teemu Selanne reaching milestones
Kings left wing Ryan Smyth (pictured at right) is scheduled to play in his 1,000th NHL game Saturday, when the Kings face the Nashville Predators at Staples Center. He will become the 257th player in league history to play in 1,000 games. Here's a link to a column I did earlier this week, and on Saturday and Sunday I'll have more comments from Smyth and people who know him.
Smyth, 34, will be honored by the Kings and the NHL in a ceremony before their home game against Dallas next Thursday. He's no millstone as he reaches this milestone: he has eight points in 12 games this season -- including the setup on Justin Williams' goal in the Kings' 1-0 victory over Tampa Bay on Thursday -- and 335 goals and 721 points in his career.
He will become the 17th player to reach this milestone in a Kings uniform. His predecessors, alphabetically, are Ralph Backstrom, Rob Blake, Doug Bodger, Kelly Buchberger, Russ Courtnall, Marcel Dionne, Ray Ferraro, Garry Galley, Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Bob Nevin, Sean O’Donnell, Bob Pulford, Luc Robitaille, Dave Taylor and Garry Unger.
Meanwhile, Friday night in Anaheim, Teemu Selanne (pictured at left) is scheduled to appear in his 1,200th career NHL game, becoming the 87th NHL player and 10th European-born player to reach that number.
The 40-year-old (but seemingly ageless) Finn will join Nicklas Lidstrom (1,422), Teppo Numminen (1,372), Mats Sundin (1,346), Bobby Holik (1,314), Jaromir Jagr (1,273), Jari Kurri (1,251), Sergei Fedorov (1,248), Roman Hamrlik (1,242) and Alexei Kovalev (1,241). He also will become the seventh active player to appear in 1,200 NHL games.
Congratulations to both for their longevity and sustained excellence.
More on the Ducks' game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night at www.latimes.com/sports.
-- Helene Elliott
Photo credit: Christian Petersen / Getty Images and Mike Blake / Reuters