The NHL, being one of the most celebrated leagues feature the best players of the game on the teams. However, the best never have to be necessarily young per se to reign in the game. While Hockey demands agility, flexibility, and speed like none other, it’s great to witness when a player defies age to provide all these in the game. Here are the top 5 oldest players in NHL of all time who defied age and validated “age is just a number” in literal terms.
Top 5 Oldest Players In NHL of all time
5. Zdeno Chara (45 years, 42 days)
Retiring just recently, Zdeno Chara overtook Johnny Bower by 10 days to feature in the list of Top 5 Oldest Players In NHL. He played 24 seasons in the NHL and is regarded as one of the best defensemen in the game. His prominent years came as the leader of the Boston Bruins for 14 seasons. With the Bruins, Chara clinched both the Stanley Cup and the Norris Trophy. In 2021, after a year with Washington Capitals, Chara signed a deal with the New York Islanders. Big Z played his 1652nd NHL game with the Islanders. However, Chara returned to the Bruins with a one-day contract on 20th September 2022 to announce his retirement. The one-day contract retired Chara as a member of the Bruins.
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4. Jaromir Jagr (45 years, 319 days)
Jaromir Jagr has graced 24 seasons of the NHL in his long career. Jagr, a two-time Stanley Cup winner has even set a unique but notable age-related record. The Czech player has made an appearance in the Stanley Cup final as a teenager and at 40 both, the only player to do so yet. All through the 24 seasons, Jagr made it to 9 teams. However, the primary one to resonate with his name is Pittsburgh Penguins, where Jagr stayed for 11 seasons.
Jaromir retired from the game in 2017 where he spent his last NHL season with the Calgary Flames. As per reports, Jaromir, now aged 49 is still playing hockey for his home team HC Kladno back home in the Czech Republic.
3. Maurice Roberts (45 years, 345 days)
A subdued one here, still a record holder. Roberts who played as the goaltender is on this list with just 10 NHL games played. Maurice Roberts, aged 20, became the youngest ever goaltender when he played for Boston Bruins in 1925.
Roberts went on to feature in nine other games that came at certain breaks from each other. In fact, his second NHL appearance came in 1931 for the New York Americans. Maurice stayed with the Americans till 1934 before joining the Navy during the World War. The four years hiatus ended with Roberts featuring in another NHL game at the age of 45 for the Chicago Blackhawks in 1951.
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2. Chris Chelios (48 years, 71 days)
Chelios actively participated in the NHL until the age of 49. His 26-seasons-long NHL career framed him as one of the greatest defensemen to have ever played the sport. After debuting with the Montreal Canadians in 1983, Jagr went on to play with teams like Chicago Blackhawks for nine seasons and the Detroit Red Wings for seven. Aged 49 in 2010, Jagr eventually played his last season in the NHL for Atlanta Thrashers. Chelios clinched as many as three Stanley Cups and three Norris Trophies in his long but adorned career.
1. Gordie Howe (52 years, 11 days)
Who else but Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe, topping the chart here too. Being the oldest ever to play the game has to be the most subtle record ever made. He played a total of 26 seasons in the NHL, that is from 1946-1980. The right-winger took his final leave from the game at the age of 52 years and 11 days. Howe performed for the Detroit Red Wings for the most part of his career before retiring in 1971. However, the retirement turned out to be a short-lived hiatus.
Howe rejoined the game with the Houston Aeros in the World Hockey Association. Moving further, in 1977, Gordie turned to the Whalers leaving Aeros behind. Howe was there when the WHA and NHL merged in 1979. However, the greatest of all time finally retired in the following year.
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