Already a Stanley Cup champion, the Wild's Alex Goligoski added another accomplishment to his NHL résumé on Thursday, skating in his 1,000th game against Vancouver at Xcel Energy Center.

"Not a lot of people get to do it," he said. "I feel very lucky."

Goligoski became the 371st player (123rd defenseman) in NHL history to play 1,000.

He's the ninth to reach that milestone with the Wild, following the likes of Zach Parise (2020), Mikko Koivu (2019) and Ryan Suter (2018) as well as fellow Minnesotan Matt Cullen (2012). The Grand Rapids native is the 10th Minnesota-born player and only fourth defenseman to achieve the feat.

"I don't know how many people are able to do that with the hometown team," said Goligoski, who was expecting about 20 family members and friends in attendance for the occasion. "It's really cool how everything has happened. [I] just feel very fortunate."

This is Goligoski's second season with the Wild. The former Gopher signed a one-year contract in 2021 as a free agent and re-upped in March, a two-year deal worth $4 million. Goligoski set a career high and franchise record with a plus-41 rating last season.

Before joining the Wild, Goligoski had stints in Arizona and Dallas after breaking into the league with Pittsburgh; Goligoski won a Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009 as a rookie.

Among active defensemen in the NHL, the 37-year-old ranks eighth in games played.

"For so long I've just come here every day like, 'I've got to get there. I've got to stay here,'" said Goligoski, who's been filling out the Wild's third defensive pairing alongside rookie Calen Addison. "I think I've always kind of had that feeling a little bit, which I think is good. It keeps me motivated. I don't think I've ever really felt comfortable or anything.

"I'll just try to keep improving and keep working hard and see how long we can go here."

The Wild are planning to recognize Goligoski during a pregame ceremony Nov. 19 before they host Carolina in St. Paul.

Goligoski might not be the only one on the team to hit the 1,000-game plateau this season. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is at 942 after returning to the crease to face the Canucks on Thursday, his first action since he was pulled from Saturday's loss to Los Angeles. Fleury is also just two appearances away from passing Curtis Joseph for sixth all time in games (944).

Familiar faces

Bruce Boudreau isn't the only former Wild coach now behind the Canucks' bench.

Mike Yeo is also on Vancouver's staff, hired as an assistant in July after closing out last season as interim head coach for Philadelphia.

Yeo coached the Wild from 2011 to 2016 and was replaced by Boudreau, who was with the organization until 2020, when Dean Evason took over. The Canucks hired Boudreau last December, and they went 32-15-10 with him at the helm, finishing just five points shy of the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

New look

The Wild unveiled a new retro jersey that honors the 1978 North Stars, and they'll wear the green sweater eight times beginning Nov. 17 vs. Pittsburgh.