A room divided?

In 2006 the Oilers made a thrilling run to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. It was a veteran group: 19 of the 25 players who dressed during the playoff run were aged 27 or older, the other 6 age 25 or younger.

Fast forward three years, and just 6 players remain from that Cinderella crew. 5 of them were, and remain, veterans: Dwayne Roloson, age* 39; Steve Staios, 35; Ethan Moreau, 33; Fernando Pisani, 32; Shawn Horcoff, 30. Of the youngsters, only the enigmatic Ales Hemsky, now 25, remains an Oiler.

( * - "hockey age" as of Feb 1, as per Hockey-Reference.com)

Brad Winchester and Marc-Andre Bergeron were in the pressbox during those Stanley Cup Finals and were gone within a year. Of the four key youngsters of that run, last summer's trades of Raffi Torres (now 27), Jarret Stoll (26) and Matt Greene (25) gutted the squad of three of them. One of the departed players was moved for yet another unproven youngster, the other two netted a valuable but now injured veteran. Whatever the return, what was lost was an important link between the older and younger members of the team.

The 2008-09 Oilers are rumoured to be a fractured squad, with a significant group of 30-something vets, a larger group of youngsters with collectively little success in their pro careers, and not much in between to bridge the gap. Here's a breakdown of the 33 players who have suited up for Oil this season:

Age
Group ..... # ..... GP
----------------------
36-39 ..... 1 ..... 61
33-35 ..... 3 .... 217
30-32 ..... 8 .... 332
27-29 ... 1 ... 20
24-26 ..... 9 .... 443
21-23 .... 10 .... 343
18-20 ..... 1 ..... 72
----------------------
Total .... 33 ... 1488

That's right, a great big hole right in the centre of the Bell curve, which even the gigantic Steve MacIntyre cannot begin to fill. Other than SMac and his 67 minutes of ice time, there's not a single player on the roster in the prime age bracket of 27-29.

And when the likes of Ethan Moreau -- or Craig MacTavish for that matter -- looks around the room, he sees a bunch of 30-something guys who have been through the wars, many of them together, and then a bunch of youngsters whose history with the Oilers is one of failure. Is it any wonder there are rumours of a disconnect in the room?
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join The Copper & Blue

You must be a member of The Copper & Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Copper & Blue. You should read them.

Join The Copper & Blue

You must be a member of The Copper & Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Copper & Blue. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker