Though the season rests firmly on the guillotine awaiting execution, the future does not.
We hear announcers, especially from away game feeds, say it all the time: "The Colorado Avalanche are the youngest team in the National Hockey League." Are they really? The short answer: yes. The long answer: well, it's kind of a long answer.
Youth may be measured in age, but experience is measured in games played. A "young" team may not necessarily play like it if they have long mileage. An "old" team may not have nearly as much experience as their average age would suggest. So, what does that mean for the Avs? Let's find out.
Below is a list of all 30 teams ranked from youngest to oldest by average age (Avg. Age). Surprise, surprise -- the boys of burgundy and blue sit up top with an average of 25.6. To the right of this figure sits the combined number of regular season games played (Reg. Season GP) by every player in every season of their NHL careers for the listed team. So, for Colorado you would take Matt Duchene's 212 regular season games played + Jamie McGinn's 215, and so on. Ditto for playoff games played (Playoff GP), except only counting post-season games dressed. The far right column simply tallies the number of players aged 32 and up (32+), because 32 is different than 22.
|Team||Avg. Age*||Reg. Season GP||Playoff GP||32+|
Too many numbers for you? Here are the figures translated in a language that uses letters:
- The seven teams with the least regular season experience are the Avalanche (7,039 games played), Maple Leafs (7,169), Islanders (7,418), Hurricanes (7,455), Jets (7,649), Blue Jackets (7,619) and Wild (7,659).
- The seven teams with the most regular season experience are the Flyers (12,928), Coyotes (12,608), Devils (11,926), Bruins (11,843), Red Wings (11,456), Panthers (11,437) and Flames (11,216). Oh, and thanks Nicklas Lidstrom for single-handedly catapulting Detroit past eight teams.
- The seven teams with the least post-season experience are the Blue Jackets (271), Maple Leafs (278), Jets (329), Wild (338), Hurricanes (348), Islanders (379), and Avalanche (413).
- The seven teams with the most post-season experience are the Red Wings (1,557), Flyers (1,200), Sharks (1,082), Bruins (1,062), Penguins (1,007), Canucks (993), and Devils (916). If not for Martin Brodeur the Blackhawks would take the seventh spot with 854 games played.
- The Pacific Division has the most regular season experience with 51,261 games played, in contrast to the Northeast Division's 44,398, the lowest of all six divisions (yep, even with Boston). For playoff experience, the Atlantic Division leads with 3,936 man games. Our very own Northwest Division has tallied the least of all divisions, with a mere 2,584 games in experience.