By Eric Nelson, WCCO-TV

Andrew Brunette’s NHL career really has been grand — that’s grand as in he’s played 1,000 games. The Minnesota Wild forward will become the 261st player to join the exclusive club Tuesday.

“One, I can’t believe how fast it went. I still feel young even though I’m getting up there. And two, you think about the guys you’re able to play with. I’ve been very fortunate to play with some great people along the way,” said Brunette.

“It’s a tough league. It’s a tough game. You get pounded every night. There’s so many things that go into getting yourself ready for every game,” said Matt Cullen, Minnesota Wild center. “To put together 1,000 games — I mean, it’s unbelievable. He’s deserves all the credit. He’s a great teammate and a great player and it’s quite an honor.”

Brunette broke into the NHL in 1995 with Washington. Sixteen years and five teams later the 37-year-old is still skating and still has a passion for the game.

He is proof that durability is just as important as ability in the NHL. There is something to be said about longevity in the sport

“You want to play and you try to find a way, regardless of what’s wrong with you, to try and play a game because you don’t want to miss anything.

His signature goal came in the 2003 playoffs, a series-winner in game seven against the Colorado Avalanche that was voted the top moment in Wild history.

“A guy who plays 1,000 games has character. That’s a huge accomplishment. That’s a great credit to Andrew and what he’s been able to accomplish in his career,” said Todd Richards.

Brunette also has 113 goals with the Wild, the second-most of any Minnesota player.


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