Who are the Oldest Players in the NHL

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The National Hockey League is full of talented hockey players, and as it is a collision sport where contact is not only expected but often essential to gameplay, it tends to shorten the life of a professional’s career – at least when compared to people who have a 9-to-5 job.

So it’s no surprise there aren’t a ton of NHL players in their late 30s or early 40s. We took a look at each NHL roster to discover the oldest players lacing their skates in the NHL.

Ageless Action

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Some say legends never die, and that just may be the case for 45-year-old veteran and oldest active NHL player, Jaromir Jagr. “The Ageless Wonder” currently suits up for the Calgary Flames but achieved the most success as a Pittsburgh Penguin – securing two NHL championship victories.

When the Minnesota Wild signed Matt Cullen this offseason after he decided against retirement, they weren’t signing an unfamiliar player to the team – Cullen, age 40, spent three seasons with the team several years ago and is also a native of the state. Over his 19-season career, he’s spent time on several teams, including the most recent Stanley Cup winners, the Pittsburgh Penguins (oh, and he was on the Pens the cup-winning year before that as well, and won the cup during the 2005-06 season with Carolina).

The third oldest NHL player is Zdeno Chara, age 40. Chara was drafted 56th overall in 1996 by the New York Islanders and has played for two other teams, including his current squad, the Boston Bruins. He’s a seven-time All-Star select and won the Stanley Cup with his current team in 2011.

Fourth on our list is Mark Streit, age 39, of the Montreal Canadiens. He was also a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins team (along with Matt Cullen) that won the most recent Stanley Cup. Streit was drafted in 2004 by the Canadiens but has spent time with a few other teams.

Fifth in line is Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks. Hossa is 38 and has been in the league since he was drafted in 1997 by the Ottawa Senators. Hossa is also a three-time Stanley Cup champion – 2010, 2013, and 2015. He’s also one of only 45 NHL players to join the exclusive 500-goal club.

No. 6 is Roberto Luongo, a goaltender who laces up for the Florida Panthers at age 38. This two-time All-Star was drafted fourth overall in 1997 by the New York Islanders and has played for a variety of teams. This go-around with the Panthers, in fact, is his second stint with the team.

Jason Chimera (38, New York Islanders), Joe Thornton (38, San Jose Sharks), Patrick Marleau (38, Toronto Maple Leafs), make up the seventh, eighth, and ninth slots, respectively.

At age 38, Chris Kunitz (left wing for the Tampa Bay Lightning) is the youngest “oldest” NHL player on our top ten list.

The Oldest NHL All-Stars

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The NHL All-Star Game has a different format than the all-pro games of other professional sports. Since 2016, players from all four divisions make up four distinct All-Star teams: Pacific, Central, Atlantic, and Metropolitan. The game features a 3-on-3 tournament format and is divided into three 20-minute games, where the players compete in a single elimination tournament.

Who were the oldest players in last season’s All-Star Game then? For the Atlantic team, Frans Nielsen, then 33 year old (now age 34), took that honor. Nielsen was drafted in 2002 by the New York Islanders and spent many seasons there, recently relocating to Detroit to play with the Red Wings in 2016.

For the Central Division, Duncan Keith was the oldest at age 33 (now age 34). Keith has spent his entire professional career with the Chicago Blackhawks and was a part of their last three Stanley Cup titles. This was his third All-Star appearance and probably won’t be his last as he has continued to produce even as the years tack on.

Alexander Ovechkin, now age 32, was the youngest “oldest” All-Star (at 31 years old) last season as he suited up for the Metropolitan Division. He’s spent 12 seasons with one team – the Washington Capitals – and has been selected to the All-Star team a whopping 11 times. Ovechkin has received the Maurice Richard Trophy six times (awarded to the top scorer) and the Calder Memorial Trophy his rookie year (which is essentially the “rookie of the year” award in the NHL). It’s safe to say his return to the All-Star Game is pretty likely.

For the Pacific Division, Mike Smith was the oldest at age 34 (now age 35). Currently playing for the Calgary Flames, Smith also has the honor of being the 11th goaltender in NHL history to score a goal when he played for the Coyotes.

The Oldest Pros

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Seasoned veterans can make a huge contribution to a team, both in the locker room and on the ice. Forty-year-old Matt Cullen, for example, returns to the Minnesota Wild as an experienced player, a Stanley Cup winner, and a local.

Zdeno Chara is another great example of a veteran presence on a team he’s been with for eleven seasons and counting. Showing no signs of slowing down as of late, he’ll continue to contribute.

How about Brooks Orpik? The 37-year-old Washington Capitals player won the 2009 Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins and will likely continue to play at a high level in the upcoming season.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Columbus Blue Jackets is a pretty young team – their oldest player is Brandon Dubinsky, age 31. He was drafted in 2004 by the New York Rangers, where he played for six seasons before departing for Columbus in 2012.

Grab Some Goals

OK, you may not be an NHL player, but did you know that you can grab the coolest hockey gear from Fanatics.com, including jerseys, hats, t-shirts, and sweet, sweet decor? If not, head over there before taking in your next game, no matter where you are.

Top 10 Oldest Players in the NHL

  1. Jaromir Jagr (45) Calgary Flames
  2. Matt Cullen (40) Minnesota Wild
  3. Zdeno Chara (40) Boston Bruins
  4. Mark Streit (39) Montreal Canadiens
  5. Marian Hossa (38) Chicago Blackhawks
  6. Roberto Luongo (38) Florida Panthers
  7. Jason Chimera (38) New York Islanders
  8. Joe Thornton (38) San Jose Sharks
  9. Patrick Marleau (38) Toronto Maple Leafs
  10. Chris Kunitz (38) Tampa Bay Lightning

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New Look NHL Jerseys: Atlantic Division

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Atlantic’s Authentic Jerseys

After months of anticipation and social media teases, the NHL – now partnered with Adidas and Fanatics – has revealed the latest uniforms for the 2017-18 season.

Fanatics inked a 16-year deal with Fanatics to spearhead the production of all replica adult jerseys. Produced by Fanatics Branded – the online retailer’s merchandise division – the “Breakaway” jersey was designed by incorporating the views of over 15,000 fans to create the ultimate gameday jersey.

As for the players, Adidas is changing the fashion-tech barrier by implementing the most recent line of high-performance jerseys. The ADIZERO Authentic NHL jersey aims to deliver breathability and heighten performance levels by incorporating Adidas Clima technology into the sweaters’ fabrics. The new threads maximize air circulation by using materials that are nearly 133 percent more permeable than the current material in play.

Continue reading to see how your favorite teams tweaked their jerseys with a little help from Adidas and their pals over at Fanatics.

Boston Bruins

 

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The Boston Bruins’ redesigned jersey boasts the traditional black-and-gold colorway, as well as the iconic spoked “B” logo. Notable changes include the socks switching from yellow to black and a lack of black outlines throughout the new threads. The nameplate on the back of the sweaters opts for white outlining between the gold lettering, rather than the mainstay black lining.

Buffalo Sabres

 

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While fans await the day that the Buffalo Sabres bring back their royal blue threads, the team’s new sweater sticks with the navy blue introduced in the early 2000s. This iteration of the Sabs jersey ditches the piping that was on the previous version, as well as the abnormal gray armpit patch. By the looks of it, the Sabres will be the only franchise to host player numbers on the front of their sweaters.

Detroit Red Wings

 

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The Detroit Red Wings collaborated with Adidas to preserve their traditional red and white mainstays, and the Fanatics Breakaway line adhered. Motor City’s new jerseys come with no additional features. Nameplates remain nowhere to be found, and the individually stitched letters on the back of the jerseys are identical to the prior version.

Florida Panthers

 

Considering the Florida Panthers received a complete face-lift last season, the Cats’ new look remains the same at large. The most notable change on the new sweater is the larger logo shield that sits in the center of the jersey.

Montreal Canadiens

 

 

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Minor tweaks were made to the Montreal Canadiens’ classic ‘fit. The Habs ditch the Reebok logo and incorporate the official NHL base at the collar base. The most interesting feature is the addition of the Habs torch motto on the inside of the collar. The motto is scripted in French but translates to: “From failing hands, we throw the torch.”

Ottawa Senators

 

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Not much has changed in the North, at least with the Ottawa Senators’ newly revealed jerseys. The sweater places the Sens’ alternative flag logo a little higher on the shoulder blades and is surrounded by the dotted-pattern fill rendered onto the team’s sweater.

Tampa Bay Lightning

 

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The Tampa Bay Lightning take pride in their newly designed sweaters. The home jersey is predominantly blue and is a sharp take on the league’s minimalistic jerseys. While the Bolts’ new ‘fit remains relatively unchanged, a notable tweak includes the elimination of the laces from the neckline.

Toronto Maple Leafs

 

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After the launch of their rebranding initiative in 2016, the Toronto Maple Leafs chose to maintain their image in the team’s enhanced Adidas and Breakaway gear.

Bring the Hype

Whether you’re a fan of a team contending in the Atlantic Division or just want an awesome replica sweater, head over to Fanatics.com. There you will find the latest fan gear from jerseys and T-shirts to hats and bobbleheads!

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The Evolution of the Boston Bruins Jersey

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The Boston Bruins (also known as the Bears or the B’s) got their start in the NHL during the 1924–1925 season. Rumor has it, Charles Francis Adams – a grocery-chain tycoon from Vermont – paid a hefty $15,000 to the NHL in exchange for the first United States entry into the league.

Bruins’ Origins

Adams held a contest open to the community to name his prized NHL team, but all submissions had to abide by a few of his rules. First, the team’s color scheme had to be based on Adams’ Brookside stores – brown with yellow trim. Second, he wanted the name to be related to a wild animal that encompassed the following characteristics: size, strength, agility, ferocity, and cunning. Unsatisfied with the dozens of entries submitted, Adams eventually picked “Bruins” – a name his secretary came upon.

The Boston Bruins obeyed the wishes of their founder by having gold and brown as their primary colors until 1934 when black became the choice color. During their time in the league, the team’s color scheme underwent a minor transition from gold and brown to gold and black. In an attempt to stay consistent, the Bruins incorporated stripes as well as some form of their logo in all of their jerseys.

Boston Battles

Settled in the heart of Boston, the TD Garden arena has been home to the Bruins since its grand opening in 1995. As the largest sports and entertainment arena in the greater New England area, the Garden creates the perfect aura for both fans and foes to enjoy an ice hockey showdown. Currently, the venue holds a seating capacity of 17,565 for hockey games, which pales in comparison to basketball – TD Garden can seat 18,624 proud Boston Celtics fans.

The bears are currently members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the NHL. In addition to being one of the Original Six, the Bruins have appeared in 19 Stanley Cup championships, and have emerged as victors six times (1929, 1939, 1941, 1970, 1972, and 2011).

Considering the team has been around for more than 90 years, the Bruins have definitely had their fair share of All-Star players. Hall of Famers John Bucyk and Ray Bourque are still at the helm of the franchise as the all-time goals leader (545) and all-time points leader (1,506) respectively. Other NHL legends who played for the Bruins include Bobby Orr (1966–1979) and Phil Esposito (1963–1981).

Continue reading to see how the #BostonBruins have transformed their jerseys throughout their time in the NHL.

Notable Jersey Changes

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1925: For their inaugural jersey, the Boston Bruins enter their first season featuring brown as the primary color, with two yellow stripes on both sleeves and one across the shirttail. This jersey only lasts one season.

1926: Gold and brown stripes decorate the sleeves and lower half of the jersey. This jersey is worn during the Bruins’ first Stanley Cup victory in 1929.

1932: Maintaining the gold and brown stripe pattern, the team ditches their bear logo for a brown block-style “B” on the white jersey.

1936: The primary team colors change from gold and brown to gold and black. The “B” in the center of the jersey gets moved to the sleeves and is replaced by the players’ numbers.

1939: The stripe pattern along the sleeves and tail of the jersey undergoes a minor change, as does the shoulder yoke. Gold stripes are also added to the black pants, and the socks are modified into a pattern that will last about three decades.

1942: The team introduces a gold jersey that is worn for select games. The block-style numbers in the center of the jersey are swapped out for the script “Bruins.” The traditional stripe patterns are removed, leaving only the black shoulder yoke and a line across the shirttail.

1949: The gold jerseys are retired, and the team introduces the spoked “B” logo to commemorate their 25th anniversary. The gold and black stripes reappear.

1950: The Bruins introduce a new black jersey. This jersey features a block-style “B” in gold with a white outline, as well as gold shoulder yokes. The tail stripes also change to two gold stripes, with black space in between.

1951: The “B” in the center of the spoked logo becomes a block letter – this style of the logo will stick around in some form through the present day. Additional stripes are added to the pattern on the ends of the sleeves.

1956: The team introduces a gold jersey during the 1955 season which becomes the team’s new home attire.

1957: The shoulder yoke returns to gold and a black stripe is added underneath the collar. The black alternate jersey is also eliminated from the team’s jersey selection.

1961: The sleeve stripe patterns become thinner. The black jersey is brought back to life, this time with a more stylish touch.

1968: The Bruins utilize the black jersey as their primary uniform, featuring gold and white striping patterns on the sleeves and trim. The sweater also features lace on the collar, which only lasts for one season. A white stripe is added along the sides of players’ pants.

1976: The shoulder yokes are removed in the 1974 season. The neck changes to a V-neck and the lace is eliminated. A bear’s head is used as the team’s new secondary logo and appears on both shoulders.

1996: To coincide with the opening of their new stadium, the team introduces brand new jerseys. The bear head logo and players’ numbers are also featured on the upper part of both sleeves. The spoked “B” logo in the center of the jersey receives a minor modification.

2007: The Bruins redesign their jerseys after the league switches over to the new Reebok Edge jersey system. For the first time in the team’s history, the spoked “B” logo has serifs and a new alternative bear logo is adopted on the shoulders. Aside from two alternative jersey combinations, the team’s look remains the same through present day.

Heading down to The Garden? Be sure to support the #BruinsNation with the latest black and gold gear! Look no further than Fanatics – the place to shop for all the top Boston Bruins essentials.

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Mapping NHL Teams: Atlantic Division

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The National Hockey League is divided into two conferences. Within each conference, there are two divisions. Since the league features 30 teams battling it out on the ice, the clubs aren’t exactly evenly distributed: There are 14 clubs in the Western Conference and 16 in the Eastern Conference.

The Atlantic Division, as you may have guessed, is primarily made up of teams that are on the East Coast (with a few outliers). The teams include the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The players who make up these teams come from all over the world. How do their nationalities break down on a team-by-team basis? And which country produces the most players in this NHL division? Let’s look at the Atlantic side to see how it all breaks down.

Where Do Players Hail From?

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Canada is the home of nearly half of the players that suit up in the Atlantic Division. They clock in at almost 47 percent and are directly followed by the U.S., which claims nearly 28 percent of players. After the U.S., the number of players representing other countries drops off considerably; however, Sweden (6 percent), Russia (5 percent), and the Czech Republic (nearly 5 percent) all have solid turnouts as well.

Other nations with players in this division include Finland (3 percent), Slovakia (2 percent), and Denmark (1 percent). Austria, Estonia, France, Kazakhstan, and Latvia all contribute one player each.

Patrice Bergeron, who’s from L’Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec, takes the ice for the Boston Bruins. The Bruins are one of the Original Six NHL franchises; they last won the Stanley Cup title in the 2010-2011 season. Another Canadian who plays in this division is Aaron Ekblad, from Windsor, Ontario. He suits up for the Florida Panthers, a team that enjoyed a franchise-best 2015-2016 season.

Tampa Bay is another team with notable players, including Steven Stamkos from Markham, Ontario, and Jonathan Drouin from Ste-Agathe, Quebec. The Lightning are a relatively newer team, having been around since the 1992-1993 season. They’ve been to the Stanley Cup Final twice – winning in the 2003-2004 season and losing in the 2014-2015 season.

You can find Swedes on a few teams, such as the Ottawa Senators, whose own Erik Karlsson calls Landsbro, Sweden, home. The Senators have been in the league since the 1992-1993 season and have had plenty of success – having made the playoffs 15 out of their 24 seasons. They made it to the Stanley Cup Final in the 2006-2007 season but have yet to win the Cup.

Passing the Puck in North America

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Ontario has contributed the most hockey players out of all Canadian provinces in the Atlantic Division – a solid 40 players call it their home. Quebec is next with 14 players, followed by Alberta and British Columbia, which both claim 12 players in this division. It trails off a bit after that, with Saskatchewan and Manitoba logging three players each, and Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia both contributing two players each.

A few northern U.S. states can also brag about their NHL players in the Atlantic Division. Michigan (11 players) and Minnesota (six players) are the top states supplying the Atlantic Division with players. Other states represented are Massachusetts and New York (five players each), Wisconsin and Illinois (four players each), New Jersey (three players), Colorado (two players), Missouri (two players), California (two players), and a handful of U.S. states supplying one player each.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have some remarkable players that emerged from the U.S. – James van Riemsdyk is from Middletown, N.J., and Auston Matthews arose from Scottsdale, Ariz. The Leafs are one of the winningest NHL teams and are a part of the Original Six. They’ve made the playoffs 65 out of their 99 seasons and have captured the Stanley Cup title 11 times, although the last time was in the 1966-1967 season. They also won two NHL Finals before the game the championship became known as the Stanley Cup.

Team to Team

Atlantic division team by team breakdown of where hockey players where born-graphic

Ottawa checks in with the most Canadians, while Boston has the most Americans. Detroit notably has five Swedes, including Henrik Zetterberg, and hope to get back to the Stanley Cup Final. (They’ve won 11 total, the last being in the 2007-2008 season).

Jack Eichel, from North Chelmsford, Mass., plays for the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres are another franchise that has enjoyed many winning campaigns, reaching the playoffs 29 times over 46 seasons.

The Montreal Canadiens have a couple of noteworthy players that fit into two categories. Max Pacioretty is from New Canaan, Conn., and Shea Weber is from Sicamous, British Columbia. The Canadiens are another Original Six team and have taken home the Stanley Cup 23 times, skating their way into the playoffs 82 out of their 99 seasons.

Ice, Ice, Baby

NHL players in the Atlantic Division hail from all over the world, and while most come from northern states with colder climates where hockey is played regularly, that doesn’t necessarily mean guys from southern states like Missouri won’t eventually make their way into the league.

No matter what team you root for, don’t head to the arena without checking out the incredible selection of NHL jerseys, hoodies, and other gear from Fanatics.com.

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Happiest NHL Teams

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Hockey players, particularly those playing at the highest competitive level, aren’t typically portrayed as happy. They’re grizzled, battle-hardened, nails-for-breakfast guys and not the happy-go-lucky kids from “The Mighty Ducks” movies. But there have to be some cheerful teams and positions in the National Hockey League (NHL), right? It isn’t a penalty to smile!

We wanted to find the happiest teams and positions. We did this by pulling player photos from ESPN and running them through Microsoft’s Cognitive Services Emotion API; we used them to rank the happiest teams and positions in the NHL based on their appearance. This allowed us to uncover exactly who, in a sport that is perceived as the manliest, doesn’t mind showing he’s the happiest.

North American Happiness

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We found the happiest teams in the NHL were located in the United States and Canada (seven of the NHL’s thirty teams are located in Canada). One of the Original Six and winners of six Stanley Cups, the Boston Bruins claimed the title of the happiest team in professional hockey.  Even though they haven’t made it to the postseason the past two seasons, the Bostonians kept their smiles in place.

Out of the top five happiest teams, three – including the Bruins – are members of the Original Six, the first six established NHL franchises. The Montreal Canadiens (No. 2) and the New York Rangers (No. 4) each hold a spot on our list; these storied franchises account for 28 Stanley Cup championships. Those represent almost 30% of all championships – no wonder they keep smiling even in down years!

Good in Goal, Happier on the Wing

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Breaking down happiness across the different positions, we found those playing at left wing were the most joyful. Rick Nash of the New York Rangers, Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars, and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals are just a few examples of players in the happiest position across the NHL.

What might be more shocking is that those who are playing “the toughest position in sports,” goalies, were the second happiest across all positions. These masked men, wearing pounds of pads and serving as a human shield, aren’t letting the physical and mental abuse of their positions get to them.

Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers, Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens, and Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins’ are now members of two brotherhoods – goalies, and the NHL’s second happiest group of players.

Power Plays

We see now that being the happiest team in the NHL doesn’t necessarily require a recent victory in the quest for Lord Stanley’s cup. It doesn’t hurt to be a member of the Original Six NHL teams though. We know that goalies might be smiling more than we think underneath their masks but not as much as left-wingers.

Even though you’re most likely not an active player for the Boston Bruins, or Alex Ovechkin, you’d probably be just as happy sporting the best officially licensed NHL merchandise and apparel. Available now at Fanatics.com.

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