Honest question, why are many 30+ Defensemen struggling

Discussion in 'National Hockey League Talk' started by slapKing, Feb 21, 2021.

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  1. slapKing Registered User

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    This is something I have been thinking about. When compared to previous generation of defensemen, the current 30+ dmen are either struggling, having bad years, or complete fallen off the cliff.

    For guys like lidstrom, bourque, pronger, stevens, pronger, macinnis, chelios, niedermayer, coffey, leetch and a few others I'm probably forgetting, they were still good when turning 30.

    Granted, everyone declines at a different age, but these guys were still good up to their mid 30's at least. Most lasted until their late 30's, and a few still very good in their 40's.

    So why is so many 30+ dmen are struggling today?
     
  2. bukwas Stanley Cup 2022

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    I would suggest the speed of todays game is a factor. While some of them would have handled it okay it would hinder others ability to maintain their high levels. It's not just D either.
     
  3. SI90 Registered User

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    those guys are the exception not the rule. That’s what makes them all special and great and why they stand out.
     
  4. hotcabbagesoup #BrokenVeneers4BENIERS #FREEMelnichuk

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    When I turned 30, I abruptly declined physically also. And I play a defensive position in my rec league sport. It's just a magic number. I felt like a world-beater at 27, but when I hit 30, plunk.
     
  5. HF007 Registered User

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    Speed, you can only be so positionally sound
     
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  6. Korg My name is Korg; I'm made of rocks.

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    Those are all-time great defensemen, ageing well is part of what makes then great. Weber has aged well, Burns was better after 30, Josi and Carlson hit another level around 30, Chara is still kicking, I don't see Hedman falling off any time soon.

    Karlsson is a shadow of his former self due to injuries and Doughty had a couple shit years, but he seems to have rebounded some.
     
  7. zar Bleed Blue

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    Speed of the game and more penalty calls being made against the veterans. Less allowance for veterans - except Chara.
     
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  8. Nothingbutglass Registered User

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    Wait until you hit 40, and there are still post 30 D in the league playing big roles and ancient dudes like Chara and Weber still effective.
     
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  9. 93gilmour93 Registered User

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    I would definitely say the speed and caliber of athletes today. The list of D men you mentioned are exceptions because they were elite players
     
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  10. Kingfan1967 Registered User

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    Condensed schedule equals less time to heal ( and as you get older you need more time to heal ), also many of the plus 30D lead their team in ice time.
     
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  11. Skinnyjimmy08 FORMER WorldTraveler

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    The names OP mentioned are a major exception .. they were just freaks lol

    all the young guys in the NHL were brought up playing hockey when the game was massively different than guys that are 30+ were brought up.

    it's just like if the game went back to where you could hit more and play way more physical and clutch/grab a little bit, alot of the young skilled guys wouldn't be near the players they are now and the game wouldn't be near as fast

    The past 10ish years when you watch bantam/midget age kids, there is almost no hitting or physical play and they skate around with their head completely down cause they know they won't be hit.... And if there is a big hit, you can almost guarantee it will be a penalty... I'm not knocking how the game is at all, I'm just explaining the difference. I actualy quite enjoy watching the speed and skill of the game now
     
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  12. McDNicks17 Moderator

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    I believe there was a study not too long ago that showed players are hitting their prime a lot earlier now.

    Players are peaking and plateauing from about 22-25.

    Defensemen's defensive metrics stayed fairly consistent with a steep decline at 35ish, but their offensive metrics started to decline by 26 and steeply declined by 30.
     
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  13. StreetHawk Registered User

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    Situation also matters. I think for a guy like Doughty, he seems stuck between needing to play for a competitive team because that's where he excels, but is stuck liking his off ice life in LA.

    Need to be realistic about expectations for players as they age. And there is a difference in what part of the 30's you are in.

    Early is 30-33. Mid is 34-36. Late is 37-39.

    Once you hit your mid 30's then you should be seeing a drop off.
    That insane 2008 draft class turns 31 in 2021, so they should still have some good years left. But, you will always see some guys falter, while others age better.

    2008 - L. Schenn, Z. Bogosian, E. Karlsson, T. Hamonic are guys that have dropped off a lot from their mid 20's. That draft still has Doughty, Pietroangelo, Josi, Carlson.
     
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  14. HockeyGuy1964 Registered User

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    Who exactly are these 30+ year old defensemen that have fallen off a cliff?

    That would help answer the question better than giving names of long retired guys that were good into their 30's.
     
  15. Scorcho Twitter @AmateurAdult11

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    As a 31 year old, i can confidently say it's because they're old
     
  16. Mikeshane Registered User

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    A small part of it is they are exposed more now with all the stat keeping and video being used. Generally big names get the benefit of the doubt but now people can pinpoint all these issues that a player is having quicker than ever before.
     
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  17. slapKing Registered User

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    fair enough.

    Some names on the top of my head:
    Karlsson and Subban: Both had their fair share on injuries, but you would think they would be at least top pairing defensemen.

    Burns and Giordano: two guys who took time to get to where they are. Definitely good in their 30's, but now declining for a few years now. And in the case for Giordano, it's not like he has major wear and tiers when it comes to the playoffs, only playing 23 games.

    Carlson, Josi, and Pietrangelo: All struggling compared to last season who were all great last season. Pietrangelo gets some slack with a new team.
     
  18. Favin Registered User

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    Speed of game and condensed schedule
     
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  19. IlikeEich Registered User

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    Agreed, I think in the past experience aided those smart players as they aged, but nowadays if you can’t keep up you can’t keep up.

    yep first year I’m feelin my age, shit sucks.
     
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  20. Christ Registered User

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    Maybe they are stuck playing in the North Division;)
     
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  21. KirkAlbuquerque #Tank4Gallant

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    ooof this hits home
     
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  22. Wildcarder Registered User

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    Honestly I wonder how much injuries plays into this more than anything else.

    The older you are, the more likely that you've gone through a few major injuries that slow you down.
     
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  23. Ezpz No mad pls

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    There weren't any teams in the league rolling 4 lines back then. Bottom sixes were filled with junk players for years and years. Now some times have fourth lines that would be 1st lines in the 90's. Game is too fast for oldies to stick around, forwards and defenseman alike.
     
  24. Raccoon Jesus President of Vilardi Fan Club

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    No greater truth has ever been spoken on this forum.
     
  25. Machinehead Pomsky Power

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    They're aging and there was no camp.

    I'd be interested to see data by age at which point guys start playing well in a normal season.
     
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