There are many factors that can affect a hockey players career. Some major factors include injuries, age, position played, and the general life expectancy of an average human. Even though there are many variables that play into how long a player will be able to play in the NHL, hockey players tend to have longer careers than most other professional athletes.
For example, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers is known as one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. He’s had a very successful career so far and has been named MVP twice within 10 years. However, he has already retired after only 13 seasons due to an injury in the 2017 season.
Hockey players tend to play longer than other professional athletes because, unlike football and basketball, hockey does not involve as much constant physical contact. Some major hits in the NHL may be considered huge hits in the NFL.
Hockey players are required to skate swiftly and continuously as well as absorb shock from skating into another player at full speed just as they try to shoot the puck into the net. Hockey players are constantly resisting all of this pressure on their body throughout the game which makes these factors very influential in playing time.
Positions such as goalie and defenseman play the quickest games. Typically, they only get one to two minutes of rest in between shifts, while forwards and centers do not go out on the ice for as long and typically wait a little bit longer before returning to the bench for another shift.
Team’s management and coaching
If a team does not want to keep an older player, they will find ways to trade him or send them down to the minor leagues. For example, the Pittsburgh Penguins sent goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury down to the minors in October of 2017.
He had played 10 seasons with the franchise and had made 729 appearances but management thought that he was not the right choice for the future of their team. Although this move is unpopular, it can be justified with a better choice for goalie success in the future.
Salary and contract negotiations
Players who are more under the radar typically have longer careers. For example, Patrick Marleau of the Toronto Maple Leafs is known as one of the best power forwards currently in the league.
He’s played 19 seasons of professional hockey with three different teams and won two gold medals for Canada at the Olympics. However, he has chosen not to retire and still continues to play for the Maple Leafs with an annual salary of 3.25 million dollars.
Average nhl career length
The average NHL player tends to retire at 35-years-old. The average career lasts 6 seasons, according to the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA). Goalies tend to have higher salaries than other players due to their ability to get the puck away from the net and confidently serve as an anchor for the defense of their team.
Personal life choices
If a player has a family to take care of and is working towards other goals, they may choose to retire at an earlier age. For example, Washington Capitals Center Nicklas Backstrom retired from the national hockey league after 14 seasons because he chose to move back home and be with his family.
His salary was 3 million dollars as well as his contract coming to an end. His average career lasted 8 seasons as well as 285 points and 471 games played.
For hockey players, their career length is influenced by many different factors such as: playing ability, position played, team’s management and coaching decisions, salary and contract negotiations and personal life choices. These factors all play into how long a player will be able to play in the NHL.