Yes, the sad truth is that even our beloved hockey heroes get old at some point. It seemed like in the 90s, everything was much better in the league, with NHL rivalries reaching new heights in terms of hatred. Guys put up insane goal totals, while teams like Detroit and Colorado were brawling on the regular. We really do miss those days.
Today, the game is quite different and surely regarded as a young man’s game, thanks to all of the new rules put in place. Nowadays, if you merely impede a players progress, you’re going in the box for two on an interference call. Back in the day, that was considered a normal play. Youth has thrived because of the rules and teams like Toronto are suddenly back in the mix thanks to speed and skill being the primary factors in today’s game.
Well, in this article, we instead shed a light on some 90s players we loved dearly and take a minor jab at the fact that they’ve gotten pretty old throughout the years. Along with acknowledging their older ages, we’ll also celebrate their terrific careers and accomplishments during their time. This is a list of 15 former NHL stars that got old. Enjoy the list and be sure to let us know which player you believed aged the worst!
15 Brett Hull, 52
Drafted 117th overall in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, the Calgary Flames were excited to welcome the Golden Brett to their team. Hull was a sniper since his early days, putting up an insane 105 goal season during his days with the Penticton Knights. However, he slid down the draft because of his poor skating ability and conditioning, but he proved all of those scouts wrong during his prolific goal scoring career.
Unfortunately, the Flames would not be the beneficiaries of those goals, as Hull blossomed as a member of the Blues, putting up insane seasons of 72, 86 and 70 goals consecutively. He announced his retirement back in October of 2005.
Compared to some of the others on the list, the aging process has caught up with the former sniper, as he’s put on a couple of pounds since leaving the game. Nowadays, Hull is with the St. Louis Blues organization working as the Executive Vice President of Business Development.
14 Adam Oates, 54
A journeyman in the NHL, Adam Oates was similar to Brett Hull by putting up insane numbers in one specific column, but now it was in the assist column. Oates finished his career with over 1,000 assists, sitting seventh on the all-time list. His 90 and 97 assist seasons as a member of the Blues and Bruins were truly something to behold and it's a stat that’s going to hard to beat for a long time (unless you’re Connor McDavid that is).
Adam would retire in 2004 and was celebrated for his tremendous body of work at the 2012 Hall of Fame, when he was inducted into the prestigious class. Oates would go on to work as a coach in the league, starting off as an assistant and briefly working as a head coach. His last NHL coaching gig came as an assistant with the New Jersey Devils organization.
13 Doug Gilmour, 53
Despite getting drafted 134th overall by the St. Louis Blues, Doug Gilmour turned into one heck of a hockey player and leader during his stint in the NHL. Doug won a cup early on as a member of the Calgary Flames, but really found his popularity in the league playing a leadership role as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He never won a cup with the team, but settled for setting a plethora of franchise records as a member of the prestigious organization.
He got inducted into the Hall of Fame class of 2011 and has pursued his passion for hockey as a head coach in the Ontario Hockey League. Today, Doug is working as the General Manager of the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs.
12 Ed Belfour, 51
Ed Belfour was a character, to say the least. Going undrafted, Belfour became a fascinating story in the league which was wrapped with a perfect bow following his Hall of Fame induction in 2011. His style was unorthodox, but he managed to get things done as a battler in the net finding success with both the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars. His first season was quite impressive as he won the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year and the Vezina Trophy as the best goalie in the league. He would win his first and only cup with the Dallas Stars franchise in 1999.
Known for his vintage eagle mask and his party lifestyle away from the game, Belfour has aged a little bit quicker than his other fellow alums, as he recently hit his 50s. Belfour is still known to be partying it up nowadays, proving that age is just a number when it comes to partying...
11 Sergei Fedorov, 47
The Hall of Fame inducted a brilliant player in 2015 when they opened the doors of the hall for the great Sergei Fedorov. Known for his days as a member of the Detroit Red Wings, Sergei powered the team offensively for long time, which saw the Wings win three Cups in a matter of six years (97, 98, 02). Fedorov was crucial to the team’s success, excelling on both ends of the ice with his blistering speed and incredible two-way vision. He became one of the first star players in the league to truly excel at both ends of the rink.
Nowadays, nearing his 50s, Fedorov is still involved with the game back in his native land. Fedorov is currently serving as the General Manager of the CSKA Moscow franchise in the KHL.
10 Dominik Hasek, 51
At one point in time, Wayne Gretzky himself called Dominik Hasek the greatest player in the game. Younger fans tend to forget his contributions to the game, which were extremely noteworthy as he revolutionized goaltending with his hybrid, butterfly style.
Hasek completely dominated the league in the 90s, winning five Vezina Trophies (six in total), along with two Stanley Cup Championships as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. His legacy is celebrated today as one of the greatest of all-time and he was honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014. After a lengthy NHL career, he finally announced his official retirement in October of 2012. He’s 51 today, but still looking great thanks to his years and years of terrific conditioning outside of the rink.
9 Mark Messier, 56
Born in the early portion of the 1960s, it’s fair to say that Mark Messier is pretty darn old today. To his credit, you wouldn’t think it judging by how well he’s maintained himself throughout the years following the end of his prestigious NHL career.
A six-time Stanley Cup champion, Messier is regarded as one of the greatest of all-time and a player who was known for his tremendous leadership skills. After a career filled with trophies, Messier called it a career in September of 2005. He’s kept active in and out of the league ever since, working with various NHL teams along with signing numerous endorsement deals. His very latest came in 2014 when he inked a deal with Rogers Communications as a spokesperson for the company.
8 Chris Chelios, 55
Drafted by the Montreal Canadiens 40th overall back in 1981, Chelios turned into one heck of a defenseman. Chelios would win three Norris Trophies throughout his career, along with three Stanley Cup Titles as a member of the Habs and Wings. He also enjoyed some of the best success of his entire career as a minute-eater on the back end for the Chicago Blackhawks.
As his career rolled along, Chelios earned the nickname The Freak, referring to his insane work ethic outside of the rink despite his age. Because of his superb conditioning, Cheli remained active until 2010 at the age of 48. He would finally announce his retirement in that year, transitioning into a role with the Wings front office. Today, Chelios maintains the position as Detroit’s Executive Advisor behind General Manager Ken Holland.
7 Nicklas Lidstrom, 46
Known as The Perfect Human during his time as an NHL player, Nicklas Lidstrom maintains that name nowadays as a family man and looking like he hasn’t aged a single day, despite being 46 and slowing nearing his 50s. He played in a recent alumni game and it just seemed like he never left the game, as his effortless skating and booming slap shot were on full display during the Leafs and Red Wings vintage clash.
As an iconic figure in the Wings organization for his plethora of accomplishments as a leader, Nick was offered a job to work in the Wings front office. Sources even claim he was offered an assisting coaching job only to turn it down in order to watch his kids grow back in his native land of Sweden. A classy ending to a classy career.
6 Ray Bourque, 56
He won the Stanley Cup in his final game as a member of the Colorado Avalanche, but most fans remember him for his time as a Boston Bruin. Bourque was a constant for the team, serving 21 years with the team and ending his time as the franchise’s longest serving captain of all-time. He won five Norris Trophies during his time in Boston and he’s remembered as one of the greatest Bruins ever. He still holds a strong grasp on the statistical column leading the league in all-time goals, assists and points by a d-man.
Today, at the age of 56, Ray is enjoying his retirement. He made headlines in the summer of 2016 for a controversial DUI charge, but the dust has settled since the incident. He still appears from time to time at Bruins' games, paying homage to the team he cares about dearly.
5 Alexander Mogilny, 47
One of the more underrated players of his time, Alexander Mogilny was a gem during his prime. Many tend to forget just how great he was at putting the puck in the back of the net and that was well documented during his season as a Buffalo Sabre back in 1992-93, when he put up a career high 76 goals. He would continue the magic in Vancouver while reuniting with fellow Russian Pavel Bure. In his first season, Alex once again broke the 50 goal plateau, scoring 55 on the season along with 107 points. He put up another outrageous effort during the latter part of his career with the Devils, scoring another outrageous total of 43 goals.
He left the game as a member of the Triple Gold Club (winning an Olympic gold medal, World Championship gold medal and Stanley Cup). Today, he’s still involved with the game overseas, working as the President for Amur Khabarovsk of the KHL.
4 Luc Robitaille, 50
Remembered for his time in the NHL as Lucky Luc, Robitaille etched his name into NHL history as one of the greatest left wing scorers of all-time. When he announced his retirement back in 2005-06, Luc had already cemented his legacy as the highest scoring left winger in NHL history. His consistent 40+ goal seasons early on in his career as a member of the Kings separated him from the rest of the pack.
He would win one Stanley cup as a member of the Red Wings and transition into a role with the Kings front office. Today, Luc remains in the position, serving as the team’s President of Business Operations. Entering his 50s last year and set to turn 51 in February, the Hall of Fame left winger is still looking great, proving that age is just a number.
3 Steve Yzerman, 51
It's hard to believe that one of the greatest Red Wings of all-time is into his 50s nowadays. Looking at Stevie Y, you’d think he was still in his 40s, as he’s kept in great shape throughout the years despite leaving the game.
Following his epic run as a Detroit Red Wing, Yzerman joined Ken Holland as the Wings’ General Manager brought Steve along his wing. Most Detroit fans thought Yzerman would take over the position one day, but that wasn’t to be as Steve left the assistant position for a spot as the GM of the Tampa Lightning. He’s taken the team to new heights since taking over. His most notable piece of work came this past offseason when he signed Stamkos to a deal, despite the entire league looking to sign the star. Age is certainly not slowing down this guy!
2 Teemu Selanne, 46
It’s truly hard to believe that Teemu Selanne is already 46 and set to turn 47 in the summer. To put things into perspective, his dynamic duo buddy Paul Kariya is still only 42.
Despite being older, Teemu played in the league until May of 2014, enduring one final playoff run as a member of the Anaheim Ducks. Following the loss to the Kings, Teemu took a lap around the ice as the players and fans acknowledged and respected his final moments in the league. His point totals did decrease that season, but we think he could've still went for another season. That was recently proven to be correct during his alumni cameo as a member of the Winnipeg Jets. Man can the guy still fly!
1 Wayne Gretzky, 56
Forever regarded as the greatest of all-time in the sport, even The Great One has aged throughout the years, something passionate hockey fans refuse to believe. Born in the early 60s, Wayne is currently edging closer and closer to the age of 60, something most fans couldn’t even imagine back in his prime as he took the league by storm, putting up stats that will most likely go untouched forever (he holds 60 NHL records, yikes).
Today, Wayne is still working several jobs as a spokesperson, along with recently signing a deal with the Oilers to become a partner and vice-chairman of Edmonton’s Oiler Entertainment Group. Nice to see Wayne back where he belongs alongside the franchise he built.