(I'm jumping around a bit here, from leading teams to leading players. I'm writing about what springs to mind, so I can't guarantee consistency from day-to-day...)
When you choose arbitrary start and end dates for a particular statistic, you can often get interesting results. Looking at the total number of games played since 1999-2000, we get a very interesting group:
This is through a few days ago, so the most games anyone could have played is around 770 - there have been no modern-day Doug Jarvises. Essentially, to make this list, you had to be an established player ten years ago and you still have to be one today. So only players over 28 need apply. You'd think a guy like Recchi - born in 1968 - wouldn't be in the hunt for the top of the chart, but he is.
What about goals?
This time the list is pretty straight-forward:
I think if you posed this as a trivia question, people would be vastly more likely to know the leaders than they would for the games played list. As for assists, the leader is not exactly a surprise:
If Joe Thornton went scoreless for two full seasons, he'd probably still lead this list. Thornton takes a lot of flak for his teams' playoff performances, but he has simply been an amazing offensive talent. If he's still playing when he's 38 or 39, we'll be talking about him closing in or Esposito and Jagr's career points totals. Putting it all together:
I don't think I was quite aware of the level of Thornton's dominance before. But scoring is clearly one department where the best players excel - Jagr, Sakic, Naslund and Sundin were such huge talents that they could miss several years out of the last decade and still rank ahead of big scorers like Martin St. Louis or Patrick Elias.
Next time: we'll get a bit more obscure...