How's it going every body? I've been thinking about this topic for quite some time now and thought I would put it out there and see what others thought about. I always find it interesting when you hear about hockey players and the varying ages, and especially now with the growing number of large contracts being given to players. I'm not talking about money, just the time periods here, like Ovechkin signed a 13 year deal I think it was with Caps, DiPietro signed for 15 years with Islanders, and didn't some of the old farts on the Red Wings just sign some 12 year deals? Granted OV and Rick are young players, but Zetterberg (29) and Franzen (30) signed 12 year deals that will take them into their forties.
And then you have Chris Chelios who is 48 and still playing, or at least still able and willing to play. Gordie Howe played until he was 52? Not to mention Joe Sakic (40) and Rod Brind'Amour (39) are some current players. How do they do it!?!?!?
I don't know if anyone read the Sports Illustrated (or was it ESPN the Mag, I forget) and the story they had about the growing number of concussions in the NHL and in hockey in general, but it gave the statistic that it's passing NFL players, particularly the lineman, who are the ones that usually get the most concussions. And as we are learning more and more, concussions are more serious than everyone thought and cause some really serious problems. I know, that's kind of obvious, but people are still shocked by it.
I started thinking about this more tonight after I saw that Kurt Warner, quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, retired today, yesterday, recently, whenever it was. Warner is 38 and played 12 season in the NFL. I'm not saying football players, especially QBs, don't get knocked around (just ask Brett Favre after playing the Saints- Zing!) but I think it's safe to say that hockey players get knocked around quite a bit, and some times the hits are that much worse and involve more risks. So how come hockey players are able to play for so long while others, like the gridiron counter parts, have to call it quits so much sooner?
Like I said in the beginning, I would like to know what you all think about this. Sure, you could go the route of hockey is a different sport and there is more tradition and loyalty to it or whatever, but I mean besides that. Besides the "it's fun" argument or the "hockey players are just tougher." Do you think there is anything else that helps contribute to this? I mean, as Pens fans we can see from this season alone that injuries are always occurring; everyone has sat out a game(s) for an injury, no matter how minor or serious.
I hope some people read this and just offer some advice. I think it's interesting, but I might be a loser. Cheers.