Everyone loves a “beating the odds” story. And odds are, by the time a hockey player’s 35th birthday has passed, his production has slowed considerably, giving him more time between shifts to contemplate investment opportunities or a broadcasting career. But there’s always a few gifted impact players who seem to barely slow down with age. Here’s the top-10 point-getters over 35 this season.
10. Marek Zidlicky (36 years old) – 29 points
Having played fewer than 50 games every year since 2009-10 because of various injuries, Zidlicky has been healthy this year and his resurgent season has been a pleasant surprise for the New Jersey Devils.
9. Olli Jokinen (35) – 31 points
Jokinen signed in Winnipeg before the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season and began his career as a Jet with 14 points in 45 games. He’s followed that abysmal showing with a bounce-back statistical season, just in time for another contract year. BONUS: Waffle. [Note: This entire post was simply an excuse to show that gif.]
8. Shane Doan (37) – 31 points
His season was interrupted by Rocky Mountain fever that forced him out of 13 games, but Doan has still managed to return to the lineup and lead the Coyotes with 0.76 points per game.
7. Pavel Datsyuk (35) – 32 points
The ‘Magic Man’ has been limited to just 35 games this season and would probably be second on this list if not for injuries. Everyone knows how adept the Red Wings superstar is with the puck, including Datsyuk himself.
6. Daniel Alfredsson (41) – 32 points
Even though the Red Wings don’t look like Cup contenders as of yet, Alfie has been a good fit in Detroit alongside fellow Swedish Olympians Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall and Johan Franzen.
5. Patrik Elias (37) – 33 points
The second of three Devils on the list, the 37-year-old Czech has battled injuries but is still on pace to eclipse 50 points for the 12th time in his career.
4. Jarome Iginla (36) – 38 points
After his failed stint in Pittsburgh last season, many suggested Iggy’s productive years were done. As a Penguin, Iginla was shifted to left wing and wasn’t deployed on the top power play unit. This year, playing right wing on a line with Milan Lucic and David Krejci, No. 12 has reignited his game.
3. Marian Hossa (35) – 46 points
It’s easy to forget how old Hossa is when you consider his fast feet and robust playing style. He’s still the best defensive winger in hockey and leads the league in takeaways, to go along with another productive offensive campaign.
2. Jaromir Jagr (41) – 48 points
He’s already caught Mario Lemieux on the all-time assists list this season, and he needs fewer than 20 points to catch Steve Yzerman for sixth in all-time scoring. By the time he hangs ’em up, Jagr will probably have passed Ron Francis for fourth on the all-time points list.
1. Martin St-Louis (38) – 53 points
One year removed from winning the Art Ross Trophy, St-Louis’s latest achievement is leading the Lightning without Steven Stamkos and keeping the Bolts within a few points of the Atlantic Division lead. There’s no point in once again bringing up how foolish it was to leave the prolific and adaptable St-Louis off the Canadian Olympic team, so I won’t.