Marc Staal approaches milestone

Known as a durable defenceman, Thunder Bay's Marc Staal is two points shy of the 200-point mark.

In the lengthy and storied history of the National Hockey League, only three sets of brothers have combined to amass over 1,800 points in their respective careers.

The latest to do so are the Staal siblings, Eric, Jordan and Marc.

The Thunder Bay brothers surpassed that number last month and between them have now accumulated 1,805 points in their time in the NHL.

Heading into game action Monday evening, Eric, of the Montreal Canadiens, paces his brothers in goals (441), assists (592) and points (1,033).

Meanwhile, Carolina Hurricanes captain Jordan has collected 574 points on 241 tallies and 333 helpers while Detroit Red Wings defenceman Marc is two points shy of 200 in lengthy career. He has notched 46 markers and doled out 152 assists.

The trio had appeared in 3,244 contests, with Marc being 54 outings shy of joining his brothers in the 1,000-game club.

Should Marc reach this feat, it would be the first time in NHL history that three brothers all played a 1,000, or more, games in the league.

Leading all three-brother groups in career NHL numbers are the Stastnys — Peter, Marian and Anton.

They racked up 2,169 points in their time in the league.

Next is another trio of forwards, the three highest point-producing Sutter brothers, Brent, Brian and Ron.

They provided 2,000 points in nearly 3,000 NHL games combined.

Rounding out the Top 10 in this category are:

Dale, Mark and Dave Hunter (1,727 points); Neal, Aaron and Paul Broten (1,539); Claude, Jean and Marcel Pronovost (1,119); Doug, Reg and Max Bentley (1,090); Kelly, Kevin and Kip Miller (1,037); Charlie, Lionel and Roy Conancher (1,009) and Gord, Kevin and Peter Dineen (868).

Of all these 30 players, Peter Stastny had the most goals with 450 while Eric Staal is just nine tallies shy of matching that mark.

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SOLID YEAR: All-in-all, his first season as a head coach in the professional ranks can be viewed as a successful one for Jason Jaspers.

The Thunder Bay native has wrapped up his initial campaign behind the bench with the Esbjerg Energy in the nine-team Metal Ligaen, the top league in Denmark.

Jaspers guided his club to a third-place finish, ending up near top spot, just six points shy of first. His side went 32-10-6 overall to easily qualify for postseason play.

Taking on Fredrickshavn in quarter-final action, the match-up turned out to be hotly contested series and saw Jaspers lead the Energy to a come from behind series victory, rallying to win the last two games and take the best-of-seven affair that went the distance.

However, Esbjerg would fall in six outings to second-place Aalborg in the semifinals to bring an end to their year.

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CROSS BORDER MOVE: Opting to play in Europe for another season, it was announced Saturday that Thunder Bay’s Graeme McCormack had inked a deal with HK Hradec Kralove in the Czech Republic.

Skating in the 14-team Tipsport Extraliga, McCormack skated on defence for inter-league rival Dukla Michalove, who are based across the border in Slovakia.

He led all blueliners on his team in offensive production in 2020-21 and was third overall among all league rearguards with 34 points in 46 games on seven goals and 25 assists.

Having turned 30 last month, McCormack will be entering his sixth season playing in Europe having appeared in 250 games, having collected 116 points, including setting up 133 tallies.

Prior to that he played four years on NCAA Division I hockey at Bemidji State University from 2012-16 and served as the Beavers’ team captain as a senior.

Tom Annelin’s column appears weekly in The Chronicle-Journal. Contact Tom at tommyhockey@tbaytel.net.