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03-21-2013, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by OrrNumber4 View Post
What's not clear?

I am saying that it makes sense for JT, Marleau, and Boyle to take secondary roles if they actually decline.

But if they don't decline, and you are committed to continuing with a younger group (that is less talented), then you have to let the older players go.

Thornton's style usually improves with age.
I'd have thought that Boyle would decline, but he does have less-wear-and-tear on his body and is going strong at 37.

I'd have thought Marleau will decline, but Boyle's perseverance has surprised me.

We have gone over it and over it and I haven't seen a good refutation of the research where I demonstrated that similar players to Patty and JT usually hit the wall around age 37. About the same. And, we are watching JT's possession skills taking a big hit right now and it is related to moving his feet. It is possible that there is an injury, but should this continue he is definitely in decline. If players do not continually work out off ice as they age, they will decline more rapidly. The other issue with decline in elite players is that it doesn't show in point totals initially. It will show in other areas. The coach will get softer and softer minutes for those elite players, shifting the weight of non-scoring play to lesser players in the lineup. The progression is ugly trying to save face for that elite player and crippling the team. A pure points argument on decline is a straw man. It is around age 37 that their points actually take a noticeable hit. They can't do it even with softer matchups.

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