Age has been tossed about and cited as a reason the 2022-23 Pittsburgh Penguins won’t attain acceptable levels of success. The age question is a legitimate one, but the Penguins not only ignored it, they steered into it.
Evgeni Malkin begins a four-year contract. Kris Letang begins (presumably) his final six years. Both are in their mid-30s.
And the Pittsburgh Penguins are officially the oldest team in the NHL, according to CapFriendly.com.
At least when I enter the Penguins’ locker room, I might recognize some of the music, clothing styles, and maybe Sidney Crosby will hand me butterscotch from his cardigan pocket.
Oh wait, that’s me who wears the old-man sweaters. They used to be ironic.
According to CapFriendly, the average age of NHL players is now 27.4, but to no one’s surprise, the second-oldest team in the league is the Penguins’ fiercest rivals, the Washington Capitals.
It’s close between the two teams. The Penguins’ average age is 30.24. The Capitals’ average age is 30.20.
Tampa Bay, Toronto, and Calgary round out the top five. Tampa Bay is the only other team with an average age over 29. Calgary and Boston are just over 28, which means the Penguins are, on average, a full two years older than the fifth-oldest team.
After the Penguins set their 23-man roster (with 22 players) on Sunday, they had just over $80,000 in salary-cap space remaining. While that’s enough to suit up Thursday, when the Penguins host the Arizona Coyotes, that’s not enough to make additional moves, just as call-ups if a few players suffer minor injuries.
Buffalo, Ottawa, and Arizona are the youngest teams. Only the Senators may have some success this season, though they are caught in the top-heavy Atlantic Division. Their best chance to reach the playoffs rests with a potential failure of the Boston Bruins.
Buffalo’s average age is just over 25.
I hate them already.
Surprisingly, the New Your Rangers made the list as a young team. That should send a (forearm) shiver down Penguins fans’ spines. Their average age is about 26.5.
The other Metro Division teams overflowing with youth are the New Jersey Devils (fifth) and the Philadelphia Flyers (10th). Neither is regarded as a playoff contender, and the Flyers may well be in the Connor Bedard sweepstakes.
Here are the oldest:
3. Tampa Bay
6. St. Louis
7. NY Islanders
8. San Jose
— CapFriendly Depth Charts (@CF_DepthCharts) October 11, 2022