NHL Week in Review (January 7-13)

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There is a constant conversation in all of the major sports surrounding the age of great players and when they can actually be great.

The age debate is nothing new as players have always had to battle the expectations that come with certain ages.

For years the younger payers were never supposed to be able to handle themselves on the biggest stage.

These players were always thought of as inexperienced and unable to handle themselves against the best players in the world.

They were never going to be able to compete with the physically matured men in the league and so they were destined for a development league or the bench until they could.

That was the belief for years as the younger generation didn’t ever see much action for a number of years.

That began to change in every league though as the talent coming out of the amateur ranks was changing.

They were becoming undeniable and the best young players were beginning to become stars right away.

Teenagers were no longer destined to sit on the bench or in a developmental league they were becoming cornerstones of teams.

Everything began shifting to a younger game, as young players were now the resource that every team wanted.

It wasn’t about signing the veterans to lead the team, it was more about building a team around a young corps that could be good for a while.

Every league is now in the midst of the youth movement where they are the most important and the best players in the league.

That hasn’t stopped the other side of the spectrum from developing though as the youth movement has pushed the younger players to the top the veterans have plenty left.

It is a new trend in every league and still is developing into something to watch and there aren’t a lot of examples.

The NFL has the best one in Tom Brady who has continued to be the best player in the league well past 40-years-old.

He has figured out a specific diet and workout routine that has helped him to stay in top form after his 40th birthday

While players under the age of 20 had there time as the doubted athletes when they rose the doubt started to turn more towards the older players.

40 seemed to be the age when players stopped being useful and their skills started to fall off and as players approached that age they were the players that were not worth the big dollars.

The older players in every league were always considered valuable for their experience and ability lead.

That was their worth though and at a certain point their skills declined and that worth began to decline with it.

At 40-years old things tended to fall off far sharper than at any other age and that became the time when players were no longer worth a contract in any league.

As Brady has done in the NFL, Jaromir Jagr has been doing for a number of years in the NHL.

The now 45-year-old has been one of the few players in NHL history that has been able to find a place to play over the age of 40.hockey-sidebar

Even more than that he has found a role where he can help a team with his ability to put up points.

After that peak age, Jagr was able to be one of the top goal scorers in the league and a leader in whatever city he was in.

He still faced that idea that those of his age will eventually fall off though and after a few of years in Florida, he found it tough to find another place to play.

This year it wasn’t until late in the off-season that he signed with the Calgary Flames hoping to extend his career to his goal of playing into his 50s.

His season never took off though suffering an injury after only one game with the Flames that has led to a stint on injured reserve.

The Flames are now reportedly looking for a way out of their contract with the Czech player in order to free up more space for a playoff run.

Jagr doesn’t seem like he will be coming back anytime soon and at his age, an injury like this could end his career.

Not many people are looking for a 45-year-old forward in this new age of the young star but when that older player suffered a big injury the demand shrinks considerably.

Although there seems to be a certain recipe for these older players to extend their careers, mainly eating very well and working out religiously, there is still concern about these players and Jagr is showing why with his injury.

 

Overtime

Dreams Coming True

In the last few weeks, a big moment has happened for international hockey as the rosters for the Olympic teams have been announced. For the USA and Canada, it is one of the most interesting times as the lack of NHL players leaves a lot of room for debate. Without those stars though there is another reason to love these rosters. It is the fact that the players named had never really thought that they were going to ever make an Olympic team for Canada or the USA and now they have a chance to achieve a childhood dream.

Duclair Moving on

The Arizona Coyotes remain the worst team in the league despite the amount of young talent that they have on the team. They are in danger of losing a lot of that talent and the losses have already started this week. That is when Anthony Duclair requested to be traded from Arizona in order to play in meaningful games through the second half of the year. He got his wish when the Coyotes put together a four-player deal with the Blackhawks for the young forward.

Trademark Debate

 The Vegas Golden Knights were always a name that has been debated as some consider it not to really relate to the city or state. The idea of the Golden Knights came from the owner who had strong ties to the Army Academy, whose nickname is the Black Knights. Some have it as being too close to other nicknames like the Army Black Knights. The Army agrees but it is a different team that they are angry with as their Golden Knight parachute team is an exact match and they are suing the Vegas team for the trademark.

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