The lockout really hurt a lot of people's chances at this even though it may be in the middle of their careers and not the end like it was for Recchi. Patrick Marleau would've been the youngest player to pretty much every games played number if it wasn't for the lockout. He'd need 11 more seasons of full 82 hockey games to get to Gordie Howe now.
That would be cool though. Patrick Marleau plays until he's 41 all with the San Jose Sharks breaking this record. Too bad it'll never happen. lol
IMO, no one is ever going to play as long (or as well late in their career) as Howe.
Howe is/was more then a generational talent, he was a freak of nature. No one should be able to play hockey at that high of a level for that long EVER. The man is/was a one-of-kind player. There will never be another Gordie Howe.