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Sticking around - 7-28-09

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

While reading up on former Bruins forward P.J. Axelsson, who signed with Frolunda of the Swedish Elite League, we kind of forgot how long he had been with the Hub. He was drafted in 1995 by the Bruins and made his NHL debut two years later and appeared in all 82 games that season. He eventually played in 797 games for Boston which is the 10th-best total in franchise history. He appeared in more games for the Bruins than the likes of Milt Schmidt, Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr for heaven's sake.

The team traded away elite talents like Ray Bourque and Joe Thornton during Axelsson's time in Boston and replaced them eventually with the likes of Zdeno Chara and Marc Savard. Boston underwent two re-building processes during that time.

In other words, Axelsson went through quite a bit with Boston. While he was hardly a player you would see on too many highlight shows, he was a very steady, dependable type who could play in any situation. He saw a fair amount of ice time in even-strength situations, on the first power-play unit and was a staple when it came to penalty killing.

With Axelsson gone, the Bruins are pretty short on experience in terms of time with one team. The longest tenured Bruins players are Patrice Bergeron, 24, and Mark Stuart, 25, who were each drafted in 2003.

Here's a look at each team's most tenured player and when they joined that franchise:

Franchise Players, Position Date Acquired
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim/
Anaheim Ducks
Jean-Sebastien Giguere, G 6-10-00
Atlanta Thrashers Ilya Kovalchuk, LW 6-23-01
Boston Bruins Patrice Bergeron, C
Mark Stuart, D
6-21-03
Buffalo Sabres Henrik Tallinder, D 6-21-97
Calgary Flames Jarome Iginla, RW 12-19-95
Carolina Hurricanes Rod Brind’Amour, C 12-23-00
Chicago Blackhawks Duncan Keith, D 6-22-02
Colorado Avalanche/
Quebec Nordiques
Milan Hejduk, RW 6-28-94
Columbus Blue Jackets Rostislav Klesla, D 6-24-00
Dallas Stars/
Minnesota North Stars
Mike Modano, C 6-11-88
Detroit Red Wings Nicklas Lidstrom, D 6-17-89
Edmonton Oilers Fernando Pisani, RW 6-22-96
Florida Panthers Stephen Weiss, C 6-23-01
Los Angeles Kings Alexander Frolov, LW 6-24-00
Minnesota Wild Nick Schultz, D 6-25-00
Montreal Canadiens Andrei Markov, D 6-27-98
Nashville Predators David Legwand, C 6-27-98
New Jersey Devils Martin Brodeur, G 6-16-90
New York Islanders Radek Martinek, D 6-26-99
New York Rangers Henrik Lundqvist, G 6-25-00
Ottawa Senators Daniel Alfredsson, RW 6-28-94
Philadelphia Flyers Simon Gagne, LW 6-27-98
Phoenix Coyotes/
Winnipeg Jets
Shane Doan, RW 6-1-96
Pittsburgh Penguins Brooks Orpik, D 6-24-00
St. Louis Blues Barrett Jackman, D 6-26-99
San Jose Sharks Evgeni Nabokov, G 6-28-98
Tampa Bay Lightning Vincent Lecavalier, C 6-27-98
Toronto Maple Leafs Tomas Kaberle, D 6-22-96
Vancouver Canucks Daniel Sedin, L
Henrik Sedin, C
6-26-99
Washington Capitals Boyd Gordon,
Alexander Semin, LW
6-22-02

The only players on this list who were not drafted by their teams are Giguere, Iginla and Brind'Amour. They were all acquired by trades.

(Photo: Elsa/Getty Images)

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