clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Arizona Coyotes are an unusual combination of old and inexperienced

The Coyotes have a high average age on their team but lack the playing experience that age might suggest.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Coyotes are fielding a thin lineup this season. While Shane Doan provides impeccable leadership, perhaps the best in the NHL given the volatile nature of the franchise, the Coyotes do not have more than a few middling veterans behind him.

Let's take a look at the Coyotes current roster:

Domi Vermette Boedker
Rieder Hanzal Duclair
Chipchura Richardson Doan
Martinook Gordon Downie
Scott Vitale (IR) Lessio

OEL Stone
Grossman Murphy
Dahlbeck Michalek

Depth Options

Corey Potter, Matthias Plachta and Lessio are the three most likely players to be recalled.  None of them would provide the Coyotes with a real boost of experience.  Nor would any other players the Coyotes might call up such as Henrik Samuelsson, Craig Cunningham, Louis Domingue, Jordan Szwarz or Phillip Samuelsson.

Age vs. Experience

The lineup above (excluding Vitale) had 7,785 games worth of NHL experience at the start of the 2015-16 season. Considering Shane Doan, Vermette, Gordon and Michalek account for just under half of that experience (3567), the Coyotes inexperience becomes more apparent. For comparison's sake, the Edmonton Oilers, have about 6,150 games of experience, and the Colorado Avalanche (the league's oldest team) have 8,642 combined games of experience.

The Coyotes actually have the roster with the second highest average age in the NHL, despite infusing young talent like Max Domi and Anthony Duclair. Furthermore, players like Dahlbeck, Chipchura, Mike Smith, and Stefan Elliot did not get an opportunity as NHL regulars until they were around 24 years old. And they join players like Nicklas Grossmann and John Scott, who are among the least experienced in their rookie classes by virtue of injuries, demotions, and healthy scratches.

Final Thoughts

The Arizona Coyotes may be one of the oldest teams in the league, but they are far from the most experienced. And of their veterans, only Antoine Vermette and Brad Richardson have climbed all the way to the top of the mountain and won the Stanley Cup. So even though the Coyotes are pushing to add more youth, they have a long way to go before becoming a truly young team in the NHL.