In his legendary memoir, The Game, Dryden said that nothing is stable on a roster and that we have to remind ourselves that the superstar is overrated, the young phenom is still young, and old reliable is still old. I am slightly surprised by his sentiment, especially considering he played in a time when legends such as Gordie Howe and Johnny Bucyk were still lighting the lamp in their early 40’s. This is a phenomenon we still see occasionally in freaks of nature such as Jagr and Selanne, but I think Dryden’s theory can be debunked most effectively by examining the role players who are getting it up there today.
The Bruins recently signed a hard-working seasoned veteran to a one-year, $600,000 deal. Winchester son and former BU Terrier Jay Pandolfo (pictured above) should provide plenty of experience-built grit as an extra forward. Seeing older guys who were once stars being effective lunchpail style players is a pretty common thing these days. Other examples include Andy McDonald in his current role with St. Louis; aging but tough and skilled Flyers blueliner Kimmo Timonen, and go-to goalies Dwayne Roloson and Nikolai Khabibulin. Some of these players are only shadows of their former selves, but each have something to offer. Not only that, but they play the intimidation factor, as well – They’ve been at it for so long, no one will mess with them using dirty tricks. Perhaps these types of players should be part of the nucleus for more succesful teams, because they seem to produce results. If the Bruins signing of Pandolfo is at all fruitful, then maybe it can happen.
Thanks for the read and remember: Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.