Thread: Confirmed with Link: Erik Condra Re-Signs [2 Years, 1.25M AAV]
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07-12-2013, 10:37 PM
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This is why I hate HF boards sometimes. Just because a guy is 24-25, people want him gone or are already replacing him on their fantasy rosters. Gryba, Condra, Greening they suffer from what I call "Prospectitis" everyone wants something new and shiny to replace them. Never mind the fact that they're in the prime of their careers for the next 5-7 years.

In my opinion, new and shiny sucks. I believe that players get better as they age into their 30's, in fact, I think the vast majority of players who haven't suffered major injury concerns are at their BEST in their late 20's and early 30's. I know there's a chart out there that suggests players decline after 25, but I have some serious questions the methodology of that chart, namely:

1. Scoring rates and eras. Many of the players studied played their youngest years in different leagues (WHA), rules (NHL 1980's), and in eras of scoring rates (early 90's vs. late 90's). This issue skews the younger numbers higher in my opinion. Players who have played in their 40s (now) played three lockouts ago, before the trap, and before the Berlin wall fell. I think that any scoring stats should be normalized for the era and players scoring rates should be compared against the league average, not the points they put up later in their careers.

2. The league itself. Very few "bad" young NHL players ever even play in the NHL which skews the stats higher. No one plays a bad 18 year old NHLer. Good players at age 18-19-20 are doing well in the NHL and scoring at a high rate or they're sent back to Junior. Very few young players are kept in the NHL when they're struggling, there's no incentive to do so. Young guys struggling in the NHL are a HUGE exception, and without "bad" players to even out the results, it again skews the numbers higher.

Basically, the whole thing is rigged. With that in mind, I'll use older Sens and former Sens as examples of what I mean by players getting better as they age....

Todd White's best offensive season came at age 35.
Alfredsson didn't score 100+ points until he was 33.
Chara didn't win the Norris until he was 32. All of his best seasons came AFTER his 30th.
Fisher had his two best offensive seasons at 30 and 32 when he finally stopped playing like a maniac.
Hossa's best seasons were at 27 and 28 not 22.
Chris Kelly didn't score 20 goals until he was 31, his best season and he could still improve, IMO.
Schaefer? 29 and 30 respectively. Good example for Condra, IMO.
Hasek turned on beast mode at 29 and remained in beast mode throughout the next decade +
Anderson is having his best seasons in his 30's and next season could be his best.
Corvo? All of his best seasons (with one exception at 27) have all happened since he turned 30
Phillips? His best at 29 and still going. He's been pretty consistent his whole career.
Kuba? His best at 32 and not likely to keep going.
MacEachern? Best three seasons were at 30, 31, and 32
Lalime was 27 and 29 for his best years ...but goalies don't usually enter the NHL until VERY late. So this is almost an argument the other way.
Sami Salo? 31 and 32.
Prospal? 31.
Havlat was 28 when he had his best season. Injuries have decimated him so I don't know if it helps or hurts the argument.
Van Allen had his best seasons at...27 and 36...weird.
Jason York didn't break into the NHL until he was 26 and put up his best season (35 points) when he was 29.
Jason Smith didn't make it until he was 23 and had his best seasons at 28, 29, and 31.
Igor Kravchuk come over when the Berlin wall fell and put up 50 points at age 28 on the Oilers and then put up 35 points at 32 playing for Ottawa.
Andre Roy somehow put up 17 points at age 28. He somehow managed to have a 500 game NHL career. I forgot about him.
Arvedson had his big season as a sophomore (47 points) aged 28. Weird.
Shane Hnidy (bet you forgot about him) broke into the Ottawa roster at age 26 and had his best season at age 35.
Vermette is still going, but so far his best season came at 28.

On the other hand, some players did peak earlier so I have to be fair.

Heatley peaked at 25-26
Neil was 25-26 but he's had one of his best at 33. Could go either way, IMO.
Bonk was in his mid 20's and never reached those heights again.
Joe Juneau was a monster at 25 and simply regressed. I don't know much about him.
Jody Hull actually peaked at 24 or 27 depending on your opinion. Weird career.
Ol' Curtis Leschyshyn had his best season at 24 and never really got back there offensively. Good d-man though as he got older.
Bill Muckalt bust onto the scene at 25 with a great rookie season and then...yeah. Someone should introduce him to Peter Regin.

I'm sure I forgot a lot of guys, but I tried to focus on players who have retired or have played teh vast majority of their careers.


Yashin I didn't include because although his best NHL seasons came when he was in his mid 20's....he's arguably played some of his best hockey in his 30's, just not in the NHL. Same for Karel Rachunek, he played great in his early 20's in the NHL but played some of his best hockey in the KHL before dying tragically.

Schastlivy only ever played 129 total NHL games, so he was hard to judge.

Smolinski? His best season was on the Penguins at 25. A close second best happened again at 30 though. He also got better defensively as he aged, so although his best offensive season was at 25 I think he was a better player in his 30's.

Volchenkov was at his best earlier in his 20's but he has gone downhill rapidly. Based on some of the players on this list, I think it's still too early to say he's done. Especially when he only needs to top 19 points.

I'm tired now, but I think I made my point. Most guys play better closer to 30 than 20 and we can't assume we've seen the best of someone at 24, we actually might nto see it till 34.

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