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09-22-2011, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Pony View Post

But there isn't an elite skill to extend the career life. It's hard to be a heart-and-soul guy while alternating between the press box and the trainers table. As RJ slows down, I worry about lower goal totals because he won't be in the right place and the right time nearly as often. I also worry about how that will effect his penalty killing and his effectiveness against top line players, some of whom will be 10-15 years younger than him with much more spring in their steps.

The comparison I keep coming up with for the rest of his career arc is a less talented Chris Drury, who was one of my favorite players during his Colorado days.
Drury didn't really tumble until he was 33 (34 during the offseason). Which is about when RJ's contract ends (he turns 34 in the May at the end of his final contracted year). Plus, RJ's bigger and has been more durable (recall the whole "hasn't missed a game as a Blue Jacket" bit). I wouldn't be too worried.

(That and RJ isn't being paid anything near what Drury was paid, but that's kind of unrelated to the point. )

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