COLUMBUS, United States - Vyacheslav Kozlov became the fifth Russian who has played at least 1000 regular season games of the National Hockey League when he stood on the ice of the Columbus Blue Jackets with his Atlanta Thrashers. The native of Voskresensk, Moscow Region, was however the only Atlanta player to celebrate as the game was lost 2-0.
Back at Atlanta’s Philips Arena on Thursday, Kozlov was honoured prior to the 3-5 home defeat versus the Florida Panthers. The Thrashers presented him with a silver replica of this stick he was using during this 1000th game, while the NHL gave him the Tiffany's crystal milestone award. The 35-year-old winger is the 225th player to break through the 1000-game mark. Kozlov was happy to play his 1000th game against former team-mate Sergei Fedorov, who also belongs to the five Russians in the 1000+ club together with Kozlov’s Atlanta team-mate Alexei Zhitnik, Dallas’ Sergei Zubov and Montreal’s Alexei Kovalev.
Kozlov is a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Detroit Red Wings, where he was part of the “Russian Five” line with Fedorov, Igor Larionov, defenders Vyacheslav Fetisov and Vladimir Konstantinov.