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Ovechkin and Other Ageless Wonders

Mr. Hockey Tops List of NHL Immortals

Some NHL players seemingly never age. Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is turning 37 this September and has not slowed down one bit. He sits third all-time with 780 goals.

The prolific winger needs 115 goals to break Wayne Gretzky’s all-time record. We can bet online on him to do it. Assuming he maintains his 0.60 goals-per-game average, Ovechkin will need 192 more games: That’s two-and-a-half more NHL seasons. Ovechkin will be pushing 40 at that time.

Ovechkin and Other Ageless Wonders
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images/AFP

But, as past NHL greats have shown, Ovechkin can keep playing at a high level well into his 40s. In fact, there have been players from every generation that have demonstrated this in a spectacular fashion.

These NHL Players Seemed To Play Forever

Gordie Howe

Howe was nicknamed “Mr. Hockey” for a reason. He played 26 seasons in the NHL and is the only player to have played in five different decades. The former Detroit Red Wings star won four Stanley Cups alongside six Hart Memorial Trophies and Art Ross Trophies. He also had the most points in the NHL before Gretzky broke it.

At the age of 49, Howe was still producing better than a point-per-game in the World Hockey Association (WHA). And in his final season in the NHL, Howe scored 41 points in 80 games as a 52-year-old. When it comes to career longevity, Howe is the textbook example.

Chris Chelios

Chelios is another notable player on this list who played for the Red Wings and he has Howe trumped in some categories. He appeared in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 24 seasons and holds the record for most playoff games with 266. The Hall of Fame defenseman won three Stanley Cups and James Norris Memorial Trophies each. He’s been a key cog on multiple NHL teams that were online sportsbook favorites.

While he took a back seat in the scoring department late in his career, he remained a critical member of the Red Wings’ defensive corps. In fact, he won the Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2007. He retired in 2010 having played in four separate decades. Currently, Zdeno Chara has broken Chelios’ record for games played by a defenseman.

Jaromir Jagr

Jagr is actually still playing professional hockey today. The 50-year-old last played in the NHL with Calgary and held the distinction of being in the league both as the youngest player in 1990 (18) and as the oldest in 2018 (46). He appeared in an NHL All-Star game in three separate decades and played for nine teams, including the current Stanley Cup-contending Florida Panthers near the end. of his career

The Czech winger currently sits second all-time in points at 1,921. Had he not taken a brief break from the NHL, he would have joined Gretzky as the only two players to have 2,000 points. While he may not return to the NHL, Jagr has beaten both Father Time and the NHL odds in his recent runs.

Johnny Bower

Arguably the greatest Maple Leaf, Johnny Bower won four rings with Toronto in his 11-season career with the team. Overall, Bower appeared in over 1,144 hockey games between the American Hockey League (AHL) and NHL. He won the Vezina Trophy twice along with the Hap Holmes Memorial Trophy as the AHL’s best goaltender.

Bower retired from the NHL at the age of 45. But just two years prior, he was still playing at an elite level. With the Maple Leafs in 1967-68, Bower posted a .934 save percentage with only 2.25 goals-allowed-average (GAA). In the 1969 Stanley Cup playoffs, he became the oldest goaltender to appear in the postseason.

Honorable Mentions

  • Lester Patrick (1904-1928)
  • Doug Harvey (1945-1969)
  • Tim Horton (1949-1974)
  • Teemu Selanne (1989-2014)
  • Zdeno Chara (1996-present)

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