I recently marked the occasion when I escaped from my mother’s womb (by which I mean built in a factory). This year it’s a milestone: I turned 30, which means hippies can no longer trust me. You may not trust me, either, because that Fantasy Hockey Degree from Razzball University is actually a phony. Nevertheless, you don’t need a diploma to rattle off the best players who are my age.
Marian Gaborik (2/14/82) – Easily the best player to be born the same year as Blade Runner, ET: The Extra Terrestrial, Conan The Barbarian, First Blood…oh, wait, this isn’t a movie blog (although share your favorite 1982 movie in comments, if you want). Anyway, easily the best player born in 1982, he’s averaged a 0.9 points per game average over his 11 season career. He has 324 career goals and should easily reach the 500 mark. He also sports a solid +92, a nice bonus for fantasy value.
Scott Hartnell (6/18/82) – Although he hasn’t learned how to stop skating without slaming into the boards, he has learned how to score. This past season, he earned 67 points, including 37 goals, both far and away career highs. He has also tallied greater than 125 PIM since ’07-’08, and has a pretty respectable +59 over his career. He will definitely be targeted in fantasy drafts next season and likely won’t make it past the 5th round.
Jason Pominville (11/30/82) – Pommy hit the NHL rather late, earning regular ice time at the age of 23. He peaked at age 25 with 80 points, and has since been on the decline. This past season, he turned it all around, getting 73 points (his highest since ’07-’08), of which 30 of those were goals (highest since ’06-’07). That’s a 21 point gain from the year prior (although, to be a little fair, he played in 9 fewer games).
Michael Cammalleri (6/8/1982) – And with Michael, we start to see a sharp decline in my fellow birthyear-mates. He hasn’t played a full season since ’08-’09, which, not coincidentally, is the last time he scored over 50 points. In fact, that year, he scored 82, 19 of which came on the power play. After going to Montreal, he tallied 50 points in 65 games and 47 points in 67 games. Between Montreal and Calgary last season, he only collected 41 points in 66 games, with a disappointing -10 and 3 power play points. The change of scenery didn’t help, and next year could mark the first season under 40 points since an abbreviated ’03-’04 season. The Red Wings may throw calamari on the ice, but no one outside of deep leagues should put Cammalleri on the ice in ’12-’13.
Tomas Plekanec (10/31/82) – This Halloween baby is perhaps the last of the respectable players born thirty years ago. His career year was ’09-’10, wherein he scored 70 points in 82 games. Last season, he only got 52 points in 81 games. He also had an abysmal -15 on the year. If there’s one thing going for him, it’s his erratic ability to score. The season before his 70 point highlight, he earned 39 points in 80 games. Who knows, maybe he scored 65 points next season. I wouldn’t count on it, but miracles on ice have been known to happen from time to time.