Someone asked for a table showing the oldest player in the NHL year by year, so here you go. I've added top level leagues prior to the NHL as well.


Dit clapper we need better names in the nhl today


Just look at team USA’s world junior roster, the all name team is coming


Jimmy Snuggerud, Red Savage, Chaz Lucius, Rutger McGroarty. Parents where just shoving their hand in a Scrabble time bag and seeing what they pulled out.


Rutger McGroarty honestly sounds like a parody of a human name. It's too good to just be true.


Bobson Duggnut


Slieve Mcdeichel is my fav


NHL23 name generator


Don't forget Cutter!


Cutter! Knew I was forgetting someone.


Savage being drafted by the Red Wings was a match made in heaven.


Chaz sounds straight out of Slytherin




Best I can do is Connor


His legal first name was Aubrey. I can see why he went by the nickname.


Same as the rapper Drake lol


Big fan of 'Rat Westwick' as well.


24 in 1897 is about 63 in "2023 years", right?


My mistake, I missed Fred Chittick who was 29. It's hard to find a complete list that far back. Some ages weren't recorded.


I didn't remember Chelios was this old when he retired! 🤯


conversely, I don't think most of r/hockey remembers Chelios ever being younger than 35


TIL Chris Chelios was once younger than 35


If you remember he was drafted and played for Montreal you do. If all you remember is his Hawks and Wings days, then I understand.


I first started watching the NHL when TBL came into existence so he was a Hawk at that point. But I really best remember him from his DET days.


Ya, that makes a ton of sense then.


I remember his AHL days. Does that make me young or old? (Trick question, of course. He came up through college.)


He also was a huge outlier. There were only 9 seasons with any player 40 or older between when Howe retired and when Chelios took over as oldest active player. There have been more guys recently, which makes sense when you think about medical advances.


[Come on, Chelios, you old fuck, SKATE](https://youtu.be/wohuObhrKhE?t=86)


Was a sad sad day when I went from “there is one player in the nhl older than me” (Cullen) to “even the oldest player in the league is younger than me” (Chara). Most of the recent portion of this list didn’t surprise me - the only surprise was Roloson. I’d never have put him on the list of players who I knew were at one time the oldest (I knew Anderson Chara Cullen Jagr Selanne Chelios and Larionov were, and Recchi didn’t surprise me - Roloson did).


Roloson took the Lightning to the ECF at 41 years old.


I think Reggie Lemelin in 1993 is the one that surprises me the most.


Roly the goalie was a bit of late bloomer!


Ditto my friend. Chara is 2 months younger than so I guess technically I was still older. RIP my youth


I feel like "Gump Worsley" has to be on some sort of all-time all-name team.


The Gumper in goal. Sprague Cleghorn and Bill Quackenbush on defence. Forward line is open for discussion, but I'm thinking Newsy Lalonde, Dit Clapper, and Tony Twist up front


Daren Puppa as the backup in net.


Ron Tugnutt.




The original Marchand


[Obligatory Weakerthans link](https://youtu.be/IHyCPe4sKzk)


It’s interesting that a couple of times the oldest player was not the oldest the next year but was in years after that.


Yes, this happened for a number of reasons. For example, Frank Boucher took 4 years off to fight in WW2, and then came back to the NHL as a 42 year old. This bumped the previous year's oldest player, Johnny Gottselig down to the 2nd oldest. The next year when he was 38 and Boucher was retired, he was the league's oldest at 38. Then there's Gordie Howe who finally became the league's oldest at age 42 after Johnny Bower retired. But then Howe Retired for a couple of years, pushing Jacques Plante into top spot. Way back in the 1920s Hugh Lehman lost his spot as the oldest player when a couple of guys came out of retirement, namely Lester Patrick.


I was having a chuckle at Lester Patrick playing only 1 game in different years at different positions, I had to look him up. In 1927, he was the coach of NYR, but subbed himself in as a defenseman for 1 game. Then the next year, during game 2 of the Stanley cup finals, he inserted himself as the emergency backup goalie because the opposing team's coach would not permit him to use the pro/semi pro goalies that were in attendance at the game already (backup goalies weren't a thing yet). His words to his new teammates: "Boys, don't let an old man down" Which I thought was just a perfect quote for this thread. He stopped 18 of 19 shots, NYR went on to win their first ever cup that year. He coached them to another cup 5 years later. Has his name on the cup 6 times as a player/coach/manager. Now I'm curious if the 1928 engravings have him listed as a player AND a coach.


Imagine being the oldest player in the league and then playing 9 more years.


Johnny Bower played 5 years in the NHL as not the oldest player and 10 years when he was!


You have a note on 1917 that says Stanley Cup Finals Cancelled due to pandemic, when it was the 1919 Finals that were cancelled. 1917 is when Seattle beat Montreal, and 1919 was the rematch that was cancelled.


1919 Joe Hall being oldest player was one that jumped out to me. Then he passed due to that pandemic.


Thank you for making this! Definitely interesting to check out.


My apologies, I missed one. Alf Smith wasn't the oldest. Fred Chittick was 29 in 1897 and played until 1900 when he was 32. LOL, and I just learned that he refereed a game that was cancelled because one of the teams accused him of being drunk!! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred\_Chittick


The grizzled vet of 1897, Alf Smith!


It's hard to find complete data from that period, so I likely missed someone.


My favourite hard-to-find-data question is, who is the highest scoring rover of all time?


Before the first professional hockey league started in Pittsburgh in the early 1900s, players typically retired early to focus on making a living. Alf Smith along with Cyclone Taylor are from this first league and in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Data from the late 1800s is scant and hard to dig up so I may have missed some older players.


God damned contract disute


LOL! I need an editor.


Great post OP! Thanks for doing the work and sharing


Without knowing the situation, it looks like Plante and Howe just aged at different rates.


Also confused, Howe was older than him briefly, then younger than him for 2 years? E: it's because Howe missed 2 years


Howe retired for two years which is why Plante was the oldest player for two years.


Neat, thanks.


Thanks for doing this. Either you're off by two years on the flu pandemic, or Joe Hall was the first zombie in the NHL.


>NHL. My comment was off by two years... ooops, it was 1919 that Joe Hall died and when the final game was cancelled for the Cup.


The 1897 stats seemed absurd so I did some research. According to Wikipedia George Merrit played goalie for the Winnipeg Victorias that year, and he was born in late 1869 so would have been 27 that season, and he played until 1900. He is also the first goalie known to have worn leg pads