Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Older, But Not Old

Great stuff (as always) over at DTTHLT where The Falconer has run the numbers on the average ages of the NHL's thirty squads for last year and this coming year.

It'll come as little surprise to you that the Caps were the sixth-youngest team in the League last year (and the youngest to make the playoffs) with an average age of 26.7, but are a bit older heading into this coming year (aren't we all?), at 28.4. In fact, the Caps' age increase is not only the largest in the League in terms of the raw number (1.72), but the team's jump from sixth-youngest to ninth-oldest is the biggest one-year change in the League as well (tied with San Jose).

Contributing significantly to the change are projected full seasons of Sergei Fedorov and Michael Nylander (The Falconer weighted who actually played last season, don't you know) and the inescapable fact that people tend to age over time. It's also worth noting that my projected Opening Night 23-man roster has an average age of 27.89, but that's neither here nor there.

What's mildly interesting is that the Caps are actually getting a little younger on the blueline on the whole (assuming that Brian Pothier is swapped out of the group for Karl Alzner) - last year's seven averaged 25.87 years old when the season started and this year's seven will average 25.24 years old. Also, the team got younger in goal by swapping Olie Kolzig for Jose Theodore, dropping the average age of Opening Night's tandem from 34.05 to 31.83.

Up front, obviously, it's a different story, with really the only difference being the addition of a nearly 39-year-old Fedorov in lieu of a then nearly 27-year-old Matt Pettinger... and thirteen other guys being one year older. Last year's forwards averaged 26.87 years of age on Opening Night, while this year's group will average 28.65 (assuming that Nylander's still in town).

So basically, a Caps' projected 23-man Opening Night roster - which will look very similar to last year's Opening Night roster - will have an average age of nearly one year older than last year's. Yeah, you read all of that for that bit o' genius. You're welcome.

I'm not sure what it means, other than that the foundation is there, the major overhauls are over, and it's time to see what we've got. But you knew all of that.


On a totally unrelated note, I've been a big Dave Matthews Band fan for the past 15 years, and this is horribly sad news to read. Rest in peace, Leroi.


dcrock said...

Hockey. Need hocky.

dcrock said...

Spellcheck. Need spellcheck.

The Falconer said...

Glad you like it. As you noted already if Alzner makes it that lowers the Caps age.

Another factor in the Caps rise is they had several veterans who missed extensive number of games. Pothier played just 38 games and he's over 30 now. Nylander played just 40 games and C.Clark only 18 as well! I assume they will all play close to a full season next year. Throw a full year of Fedorov...and there you have it.

But your core of Ovechekin, Semin, Green and Backstrom are all VERY young so the team has the luxury of signing some older guys to complement that core.

bradley said...

falconer, Pothier will be lucky to ever play another game again. He's done. With that in mind, he's replaced by either Alzner (if the cap issues can be resolved) or Lepisto, so either a 20 year old or a 23(?) year old.

Other than that, you're correct. If things go right we'll have an entire year of Fedorov, Nylander, and Clark dragging up the average.

The Falconer said...

re: Pothier. Do you say that based on his play or is there some injury I wasn't aware of?

So you're rank Alzner and Erskine ahead of Pothier?

mobsky said...


Pothier has had numerous concussions during his career, and his absence last season was due to prolonged post concussion symptoms, signaling a very likely end to his career.

The Falconer said...

Sorry to hear that about Pothier, I didn't realize it was that bad. I remember talking to him at Thrashers Camp way back when he first turned pro.

Andi said...

@the falconer:

Check out this link to see why it's likely Pothier will never play again. Honestly, I hope he doesn't. I really do. He's got two young kids to take care of.