The following is a frivolous exercise in debunking a popular stereotype about the Dallas Stars this year and is not meant to be any sort of meaningful statistical analysis. You have been warned.
There's a human tendency that goes along with unfamiliarity to reduce a person, a thing, or a team in this case, to one memorable attribute or quality. We do it here in this space all the time, I imagine.
The Shea Weber-less Predators. The Wild with Parise and Suter. The Kings are the champs. Sidney Crosby and the Penguins. Dave Tippett's defensive minded Coyotes. The Sharks that just can't get it done when it matters. The young Oilers. The veteran Stars.
A league-wide joke, until the lockout sapped all humor and life from the online hockey community, was that the Stars are SO old after signing Ray Whitney and Jaromir Jagr in July. "It's like a retirement community around there, right? Jason Arnott's still looking for a job? Hey, the Stars should sign him up too!"
Then the official NHL account tweets this last night prior to the game:
Which drew the ire of Stars' fans, though we admittedly and unrealistically expect in the heat of the moment that everyone else should know as much about our favorite team as we do. Not so, but it my piqued my curiosity.
The Dallas Stars aren't a veteran team. In fact they've had 12 players on the roster this year in their freshman or sophomore NHL seasons. (Bachman, Nilstorp, Larsen, Vincour, Jordie Benn, Oleksiak, Sceviour, Roussel, Garbutt, Dillon, Smith, Eakin).
Which is enough to make you wonder, how many more NHL games worth of experience do the Stars have on their roster right now than the Edmonton Oilers, really?
At the completion of play Wednesday night, on the roster at Oilers.nhl.com...
|20||ERIC BELANGER **||802|
|55||BEN EAGER **||387|
|14||JORDAN EBERLE "A"||157|
|4||TAYLOR HALL "A"||136|
|10||SHAWN HORCOFF "C" **||772|
|15||NICK SCHULTZ "A"||773|
At the completion of play Wednesday night, on the roster at Stars.nhl.com... (plus Jordie Benn, for fun)
|21||LOUI ERIKSSON "A"||464|
|10||BRENDEN MORROW "C"||817|
|13||RAY WHITNEY "A" **||1237|
|3||STEPHANE ROBIDAS "A"||810|
The answer, evidently, is that the Oilers are the more veteran team. Eliminate the most and least experienced player on teach team and the gap gets even wider. Those veteran Oilers have a lot of experience.
What about AGE, though?
According to NHL Numbers the Oilers average age is 27.184, to Dallas' 27.725. Not a lot of difference there. Perception is a funny thing, though. If it's Taylor Hall and Nail Yakupov versus Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney, then I guess that makes the Dallas Stars a veteran team.
Just a fun lesson in not judging a book by it's cover on a slow Thursday afternoon.