Mr. Hockey concluded his 32nd, and final, pro season by playing 80 games for the Hartford Whalers in 1979-80, scoring a very respectable 15 goals with 26 assists and posting a plus-9 rating while earning his 23rd All-Star Game nod. The seemingly indestructible Hall of Famer returned to the ice for a shift with the IHL's Detroit Vipers (right inset) in 1997 -- at the amazing age of 69.
2 of 13David E. Klutho/SI; Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images
The three-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman concluded his 26-season career with a part-time role in Detroit (28 games in 2008-09) before signing a minor league contract with the AHL's Chicago Wolves, a Thrashers farm team. Chelios was called up by Atlanta for seven games during the 2009-10 season, scoring no points and finishing with a -2 rating.
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The Hall of Fame netminder was 44 when he appeared in 20 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1968-69, going 5-4-3 with a 2.85 GAA. The next season, he wrapped up his 15-year NHL career with a one-game swan song in which he surrendered five goals in a loss that dropped his overall mark to 250-195-90. But Bower isn't the oldest goalie to play in the NHL. Moe Roberts (inset) was nearly 46 and a Black Hawks trainer when he appeared in one game for Chicago as an emergency replacement for the injured Harry Lumley in November 1951. Interestingly, the career minor leaguer played only 10 games spread out over four NHL seasons for Chicago, the New York Americans and Boston Bruins. He made his NHL debut at age 20 in 1925-26.
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Considered by some to be the greatest defenseman of all-time (his seven Norris Trophy wins rank behind only Bobby Orr), Hall of Famer Harvey skated in 70 games for the 1968-69 St. Louis Blues, concluding his 19-year NHL career with two goals, 20 assists and a plus-11 rating for an expansion team that reached, but lost, the Stanley Cup Final for the second of three straight years.
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Best known for the donut chain that bears his name, the Canadian defenseman spent 24 seasons in the NHL and earned All-Star honors seven times. He concluded his career with the Buffalo Sabres in 1973-74, playing in 55 games with no goals, six assists, 53 PIM and a plus-5 mark.
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The Hall of Fame goaltender, renowned for popularizing the facemask and backstopping the Montreal Canadiens to six Stanley Cups, concluded his 18 NHL seasons with eight games as a Boston Bruin in 1972-73, going 7-1-0 with a 2.00 GAA. For good measure, Plante joined the WHA's Edmonton Oilers at age 46 and played in 31 games during the 1974-75 season, posting a 15-14-1 mark with a 3.32 GAA.
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A long-time New York Rangers mainstay, Worsley's 21st, and final, NHL season was in 1973-74 with the Minnesota North Stars. The two-time Vezina Trophy-winner and four-time Stanley Cup champion (with Montreal) appeared in 29 games with an 8-15-5 record and 3.22 GAA.
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On March 9, 2011, the Boston Bruins winger moved into the top five on the NHL's all-time games-played list, still going strong in his 21st and final season in the league. (He retired after appearing in 1,652 matches.) Picked by Pittsburgh in the fourth round of the 1988 draft, Recchi went on to amass more than 1,500 points and 1,000 penalty minutes while ranking in the top 20 all-time in goals (577) and winning Stanley Cups with the Penguins (1991) and Carolina Hurricanes (2006).
9 of 13David E. Klutho/SI
The Dominator's 16 NHL seasons ended on a bit of a downbeat note when he was supplanted in Detroit's net by Chris Osgood during the Red Wings' run to the Stanley Cup in 2008. The six-time Vezina and two-time Hart (MVP) Trophy-winner then returned to his native Czech Republic where he appeared in 33 games for HC Eaton Pardubice in 2009-10 at age 45. In June 2010, Hasek signed a one-year deal with Spartak Moscow (inset) of Russia's KHL.
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The legendary Russian center, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008, spent 14 NHL seasons with Vancouver, San Jose, Detroit (two tours, including three Stanley Cups), Florida and New Jersey. He played in 49 games during his farewell with the Devils in 2003-04, scoring a goal and adding 10 assists.
11 of 13David E. Klutho/SI
The notorious pot-stirrer, who became renowned for his postseason heroics with Montreal, New Jersey and Colorado, retired after playing 32 games and scoring two goals with four assists for the Dallas Stars in 2002-03. Five years later, the feisty winger launched a comeback with San Jose, accepting a minor league contract, then working his way up to the Sharks, for whom he appeared in 18 games, posting one assist in 7:40 of ice time per match. That snippet of the 2008-09 season marked his 21st and final NHL campaign.
12 of 13Lou Capozzola/SI
The Hall of Famer who led the Oilers and Rangers to a combined six Stanley Cups, spent 25 years in the NHL, the final four during his second tour of duty in New York. He concluded his illustrious career in 2003-04, skating in 76 games for the Rangers, scoring 18 goals and adding 25 assists.
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The Hall of Fame defenseman, who spent the bulk of his 21-year professional career in the ECAHA (Montreal Wanderers), PCHA (Victoria Aristocrats, Spokane Canaries, Seattle Metropolitans) and WHL (Victoria Cougars) suited up for one regular season and one playoff game with the New York Rangers in 1926-27. Most famously, he coached them for 13 seasons, even coming off the bench at age 44 to play goal for a game in the 1928 Stanley Cup Final after starter Lorne Chabot was injured.
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