On Wednesday night, New York Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki added to his impressive list of milestones by collecting his 4,000th career hit in professional baseball, including his time in Japan. The 4,000-hit club features only Ichiro, Ty Cobb and Pete Rose, baseball’s all-time hits leader.
Regardless of sport, milestones are accomplishments to be celebrated, and they usually can’t be taken away from players and coaches once they’re achieved (unless there’s a connection to performance-enhancing drugs, in which case you’re looking at opening a whole new can of worms.)
Milestones often come with a lot of pomp and circumstance, whether the player or coach receives some sort of gift from their team in a pre-game ceremony shortly after reaching the milestone, or whether it’s part of a bigger honour like a jersey retirement.
Above all, milestones are a testament to a player or coach’s skill, durability, and in many cases, a resilience and resolve to never quit when things get rough. If you listen to media scrums after games in which milestones are achieved, the successful player often attributes their success to those around them while saying the accomplishment should be enjoyed more after retirement instead of focusing on it now.
With sporting milestones in mind, let’s take a look at the upcoming NHL season to see what kinds of benchmarks could be reached within the next 82 games.