Best of the Elders: Defensemen
By Joe Borek @jjborek26
In the final edition of Best of the Elders, we will look at the top two defensemen over the age of 32. Many good players to choose from; as always, there will be reasons why each defenseman is deserving of being top two above 32. So without further ado, let us get right into it.
1. Jeff Petry
Do you know how wine gets better with age? Well, so does Petry. This season if it ended now, he would surely be one of the top contenders for the Norris Trophy as the league’s best Defensemen on the season. He is on fire this year and playing as Montreal’s most consistent defensemen. Petry had an assist against the Senators in a losing effort on the game-tying Corey Perry goal. Brady Tkachuk then won it in overtime for the Senators. Petry, though, was one of the best players on the ice and, at the end of a shift, avoided the defender to get the puck up to Perry for the goal. On the season, Petry has 16 points in 17 games. He has six goals and ten assists to make up that total. He is enfuego and shows no signs of slowing down. This is very likely to continue to be a career year for Petry. In a shortened season, no less.
2. Kris Letang
He still has got it. Knock on wood, but after staying more healthy the last few years, Letang has had a nice resurgence. He is always quick on his skates for his age of 33 especially and just knows how to keep it simple and make plays. He is excellent to have in the house for a Penguins organization getting younger on defense by the minute. Letang is the veteran presence who helps keep the young guys attentive and playing their best hockey. He is a two-time cup winner and a great leader. If he was not on Crosby’s team, he could surely be a captain. Letang on the season has nine points in 15 games with a +1 rating. He has two goals and seven assists to make up that total. Will, the Pens, look to keep him around as the next core of players grow, or will they move him for assets? Likely with Hextall the latter, but for now, he’s still a Pen and showing that he is still a precious one at that.