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
|Team||Avg Hgt||Avg Wgt|
|San Jose Sharks||73.4||213.0|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||73.9||207.9|
|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|
|New York Rangers||73.5||203.9|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||72.9||202.9|
|New York Islanders||72.4||200.3|
|Detroit Red Wings||72.3||198.5|
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...