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Too Old to Rock and Roll, Too Young to Die

Yesterday I was skimming over several blogs to see what was new and came across something interesting over at James Mirtle's place. James posted a listing which included the average age of each NHL team along with the where the team stood in the league concerning this year's salary commitments. While it didn't surprise me to see that the Hurricanes were 19th in the league regarding salaries, it did surprise me to see the Canes listed as the second oldest team in the league! The team's average age came in just under 30 years old, second only to Detroit who has an average roster age of about 30 and a half. Could this be right? I had to check it out for myself, so I formulated the following listing and average:

Staal 22
Cole 28
Brind'Amour 37
Whitney 35
Williams 25
Cullen 30
Ward 23
Walker 34
Hedican 37
Kaberle 33
Stillman 33
Wallin 32
Wesley 38
Grahame 31
Commodore 27
Gleason 24
Ladd 21
Seidenberg 26
Letowski 30
Hamilton 29
Adams 30
Larose 25
average 29.5

Defense average 31

His numbers are indeed correct! So how much of a factor is this? Experience is certainly a good thing to have and the Red Wings have an excellent team, old age factor or not. But subtract the ancient Chris Chelios from their roster and that puts them right back in the pack. The Canes have several guys on the other side of 35 which include Wesley, Hedican, Brind'Amour and Whitney. The average age of the defense is 31, older yet than the average age of the league which is 27.9, according to Mirtle. The Canes won't be getting younger anytime soon since Brind'Amour, 37, Whitney, 35, Walker 34, and Kaberle, 33, each have at least 3 years or more on their contracts. It will be interesting to see how much of an issue this age factor is. One thing I think we all can agree upon, older players get injured more often than younger ones. Don't be surprised to see various Hurricanes on the shelf at times this season. The percentages say it will happen. Caniacs better hope that the depth in Carolina's system will be able to fill in when needed, especially on defense.

Yesterday, I posted information about the released TV schedule and mentioned that I would talk more about it today. After further review, I see that between Fox and Versus, fans will only be missing 4 road games, the 10/27 game against the Islanders, the 11/24 game against the Capitals, the 12/9 game against the Red Wings, and the 1/15 game against the Leafs. Those last 2 games would be worth the price of Center Ice alone! That means that 18 home games will not be found on television locally. That's a lot of missing games, considering the Canes had several sell outs last year. What is a fan supposed to do if you can't get a ticket? The real kicker is the home opener, which is sure to be a really tough ticket to get. You'll love the reaosn why this one isn't being broadcast! According to the News and Observer, Versus has exclusive rights for "game of the week" games, which happens to include the Canes home opener against the Habs. No other American broadcaster is allowed to televise it, but they make an exception for Canadian broadcasting. That means that people in Montreal will be watching the game, but Caniacs who can't get tickets are out of luck. Versus has already committed to televising either the Stars/Avs game or the Ducks/Red Wings game. I'm sorry, but it's lunacy like this which keeps the NHL from being a mainstream sport here in the U.S.. You have a half-ass network like Versus calling the shots (which is ridiculous all by itself), then you have restrictions on broadcasting in the US, but not in Canada. Why? Does any of this make any sense to anyone, and if it does could you please explain it to me? That's enough ranting for one day, I guess. TGIF!

Jethro Tull