Over the century-long existence of the Montreal Canadiens, only 22 players had reached the 500-point mark while serving as a member of the team. Tomas Plekanec, one of the biggest pictures of consistency during his tenure with the Canadiens, became the 23rd player to hit the 500-point plateau when he sealed up the win in this past weekend’s contest against the Boston Bruins with an empty-net goal. The last player to accomplish this feat was former beloved captain Saku Koivu, back in January of 2007. Before that, you’d have to go back 15 years, when Guy Carbonneau reached 500 points in a 6-1 win against the now-defunct Hartford Whalers.
Tomas Plekanec Records 500th Point as a Hab
“It’s a nice accomplishment,” Plekanec said, following the 4-2 win against the Bruins. “It’s an accomplishment I am proud of, even if I’ve never cared about individual honors. It shows longevity and a certain level of success.”
Longevity is a good way of putting it.
Since joining the Canadiens full-time in their 2015-16 season, Plekanec has put up 20 or more goals in all but two seasons. His 203 career goals puts him at 23rd all-time on the Canadiens list, behind Ralph Backstrom (215). His 297 assists places him at 26th all-time, nine shy of Jean-Claude Tremblay (306). On the points chart, Plekanec’s 500 points puts him at 23rd on the all-time list, one shy of Bob Gainey (501) and two away from Backstrom (502).
His 763 career games played is also a clear indication of how durable the Czech-born player has been over the years. In eight full seasons (and one lockout-shortened season), Plekanec has missed just 12 games. The versatile, two-way forward has often gone under the radar to even his own fan-base, as he exemplifies leadership qualities, sound defensive play and the ability to chip in points when nobody’s looking.
“Those 500 points show his importance to our team,” Head Coach Michel Therrien said of Plekanec. “He’s always been a true warrior for us over the years. He’s a real professional and it’s a wonderful accomplishment to hit the 500-point plateau.”
With reports circulating that talks between Plekanec and General Manager Marc Bergevin have started talks on a contract extension, it doesn’t seem like the veteran center is going anywhere, anytime soon. Plekanec is set to turn 33 late this October.