Notifications

Avalanche blue-liner Karlis Skrastins sets ironman mark

Colorado Avalanche defenceman Karlis Skrastins broke Tim Horton's longstanding NHL record for ironmen defencemen on Thursday night.

Colorado Avalanche defenceman Karlis Skrastins broke Tim Horton's longstanding NHL ironman record for defencemen on Thursday night.

The Avalanche blue-liner played in his 487th consecutive regular-season game against the Atlanta Thrashers Thursday in Denver, eclipsing the record set by Horton from Feb. 11, 1961, to Feb. 4, 1968.

Skrastins, a native of Latvia, joined the Nashville Predators in 1999, and has missed only one game during his seven seasons in the NHL: on Feb. 18, 2000, he sat out against St. Louis because of a shoulder injury.

Skrastins, 32, started his ironman streak three days later on the 26th anniversary of Horton's death in an automobile accident outside St. Catharines, Ont.

"I don't have a big secret," Skrastins said earlier this week. "Maybe just hard work and a lot of effort."

Skrastins' streak is even more impressive when consideringhe has played through many injuries, including a broken wrist and a bum knee that needed surgery.

"I love what I do, and … pain is part of our hockey game," Skrastins said.

Horton, playing with the Buffalo Sabres at the time, was killed in a one-car accident on Feb. 21, 1974, while on his way home from a game. He was 44.

Skrastins still has a long way to go to break the NHL's overall ironman record.

Forward Doug Jarvis played in 964 consecutive games over 13 seasons from 1975-87.