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NHL teams come in S, M, L

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One of the age-old debates around any hockey team is whether your favorite squad is big enough and tough enough not just to cope with the long struggle of the NHL season, but whether they can intimidate an opponent into defeat. Back in the 1990's, Philadelphia fans drooled over the gargantuan Legion of Doom, while the Ottawa Senators, to cite one example, were accused of being too small and soft as they flopped in the playoffs a few years ago.

When we get right down to it, though, which are the biggest and smallest teams in the league today? To answer that question, I took the current player listing from NHL.com and linked it up to the player bio information, in order to get height and weight by team. For clarification, no goalies are included here, nor are players who didn't dress for at least one game in the 2007-8 NHL Regular Season. That said, we're left with a clear enough picture to follow the trends, so here are our contestants, sorted by average player weight:

NOTE: Table has been updated after a found an error in the original

Average Height and Weight by NHL Team (Inches & Pounds)
Team Avg Hgt Avg Wgt
San Jose Sharks 73.4 213.0
Ottawa Senators 73.1 208.5
Tampa Bay Lightning 73.9 207.9
Phoenix Coyotes 73.7 207.8
Washington Capitals 73.9 207.3
Calgary Flames 74.0 207.2
Florida Panthers 73.4 206.0
New Jersey Devils 73.6 205.7
Los Angeles Kings 72.9 205.7
St. Louis Blues 73.3 205.1
Columbus Blue Jackets 73.8 204.8
Edmonton Oilers 72.9 204.6
Pittsburgh Penguins 73.6 204.1
Montreal Canadiens 72.7 204.0
New York Rangers 73.5 203.9
Minnesota Wild 73.3 203.6
Colorado Avalanche 72.7 203.0
Toronto Maple Leafs 72.9 202.9
Chicago Blackhawks 73.3 202.5
Buffalo Sabres 73.1 202.4
Vancouver Canucks 73.3 202.2
Atlanta Thrashers 72.3 202.1
Anaheim Ducks 73.0 202.0
Philadelphia Flyers 72.7 201.5
Boston Bruins 73.1 200.7
New York Islanders 72.4 200.3
Dallas Stars 72.5 200.3
Carolina Hurricanes 72.5 198.8
Nashville Predators 72.6 198.5
Detroit Red Wings 72.3 198.5
NHL Total 73.1 203.8



How about those big, bad Ottawa Senators, coming in 2nd? And how do those Oilers skate so fast if they're the 5th-heaviest team in the league (strike that, I've updated the table)? It must be that pristine ice surface. What really stands out is your Stanley Cup Champions coming in lightest in the NHL...

Feel free to use this as ammo in your own message-board debates. Does your hometown team need to bulk up? Is your bitter division rival a pack of lumbering slobs (yes, I'm looking at you, Columbus)? I'm just laying the data out here, folks; it's your job to run with it...