The New York Islanders’ average age is 28.9 years old. They are the oldest team in the playoffs ahead of both Nashville and Pittsburgh.
The New York Islanders are old. In other news, the sun came up today, water is wet, and the sky is blue. Some people on Twitter today seemed to be surprised to find out that the Islanders have the oldest roster in the NHL playoffs (average age of 28.9).
Outside of Mathew Barzal the Islanders core is 30 years old, or thereabout. Josh Bailey is 30, Brock Nelson is 28, Anders Lee is 30, Jordan Eberle is 30, and Semyon Varlamov is 32. Not to mention the Isles have fossils like Andy Greene (37), Johnny Boychuk (36), and Andrew Ladd (34) bringing that average up.
Some people are in complete panic mode over the Islanders age citing they have to win now otherwise they are going to be old and bad overnight, and others are completely dismissing it citing other youngsters in the system as guys who can step in.
Based on projecting the Isles lineup for next year, let’s take a look at what they can be working with. This could be a starting lineups age for next year:
Lee (30) – Barzal (23) – Eberle (30)
Beauvillier (23) – Nelson (28) – Bailey (31)
Bellows (23) – Pageau (28) – Wahlstrom (21)
Dal Colle (24) – Cizikas (29) – Clutterbuck (32)
Pelech (26) – Pulock (26)
Toews (26) – Mayfield (28)
Leddy (29) – Dobson (20)
Extras: Johnston (26), Komarov (33), Aho (24)
Average Age: 26.8
Suddenly, that average age doesn’t look as scary. Now, I’m not naive to think that the Islanders have this luxury of a 5+ year window, I don’t necessarily buy into that. But if you asked me to look into a crystal ball and predict if the team will be a playoff team four years from now I’d argue that it would be.
Yes, some things certainly have to go right for the Islanders in order for that to be the case but just because they’re old this second with guys like Johnny Boychuk, Andy Greene, Andrew Ladd, etc. who are not in the long-term plans isn’t as big of a deal as some are making it out to be.
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Lou Lamoriello obviously isn’t going to be able to clear the team of every single bad contract/old player this offseason, it’s not possible, but if we’re sitting here in July thinking this is the exact unit that we’ll see once the 2020-2021 season gets underway I think we’re kidding ourselves.