Age Before Beauty For the Nottingham Panthers

There is an old adage that you win nothing with kids. If that is true then the Nottingham Panthers are definitely airing on the side of caution. Having already signed 35-year-old former GB international Jonathan Weaver to play alongside 36-year-old player coach Corey Neilson, the Panthers have added 37 year old David Ling to the line up.

Ling does however bring a wealth of experience with him to the NIC. A draftee of the Quebec Nordiques he has had been the subject of many trades before finally gaining NHL experience with Columbus in 2001. He has also iced in the AHL, IHL and in Russia, Switzerland and Finland. The forward has proven record that he can put the puck in the net as well and his playoff point stats make for a better reading.

It is hotly tipped that Ling will replace David Alexandre Beauregard in the Panthers line up. In what would appear to be a pretty even swap except that Ling is a year older.

Also a year older now are the stalwarts of the Nottingham Panthers line up in Brits David Clarke and Marc Levers who will both be 31 come the start of the season. They join the aforementioned plus goaltender Craig Kowalski, returnee Brandon Benedict and new signing Jason Beckett in the over 30 club.

There is some young blood in the side however with 22 year olds Robert Lachowicz, Tom Norton, Stephen Lee and new full time signing 20-year-old Josh Ward. Despite this as it stands Nottingham’s line up is 2 years 6 months on average older than the Belfast Giants who won last years elite league.

Even if you zero the youngest and the oldest player on each team the Nottingham Panthers are still the oldest team in the league and on average a Nottingham player is 2 years 8 months older than his opposite number.

 

Average Age

26.9

Nottingham

26.6

Sheffield

25.8

Cardiff

25.0

Braehead

24.4

Coventry

24.4

Belfast

23.7

Hull

22.8

Fife

22.4

Dundee

20.8

Edinburgh
 

 

 

*League average is 24.3

Averages worked out without the oldest and youngest player on each team to even out anomalies.

It is worth remembering though that youth doesn’t bring with it 447 AHL points such as with Ling. But on the flip side youth does not have 20 seasons of knocks, bruises, hits, aches and pains in its body.

So the question as to whether the curse will be broken for the Nottingham Panthers could come down to whether that experience can stay fit and healthy through 54 league games.

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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