Adam Oates -The Capitals were, for me, the hardest team to pick just three players from because hockey players age far better than football or basketball players. Chris Chelios retired this week at the age of 48, for crying out loud. But Adam Oates was one of the easiest selections of any player from any of the Big 4 teams.
While many of the other players on this list still had good years after the age of 35, Oates had his best seasons after 35. He is the oldest player to ever lead the NHL in assists, pacing the league at the age of 38 and 39. Granted, he was traded at the trade deadline in 2002, so Washington can't entirely claim Oates' final season leading the league in assists, but he still played 66 games for the Capitals, which is good enough for me.
Dale Hunter - Hunter bridged the gap from the glory teams of the eighties and the Capitals' Stanley Cup run in 1998. Though he wasn't quite the same force he was in eighties, he still provided a steadying force as the team's captain in his later years. More importantly, he found ways to keep his edge in his later years. He logged 442 penalty minutes with the Capitals after he turned 35.
Mike Knuble - It was tough not to go with Peter Bondra here, since he was a stellar player for so long in Washington. But keep in mind, he only played 54 games with Washington after he turned 35 before he was shipped to Ottawa. His numbers were still nice and would have only been better if he had the firepower around him that Knuble had last season, but I'm giving the nod to the man who had the second-highest shooting percentage in the NHL last season. Yes, those numbers are inflated by limiting his shot attempts to close-range shot attempts, but part of getting older is knowing how to play to your strengths. In doing so, he gave the Capitals another dimension and played an important role in the team's success last year.
Michael Jordan - Don't let Jordan's dropoff from his Bulls days keep you from appreciating just how good Jordan was in his final days. He may not have been Air Jordan, but he was good for 20 points a game, as well as five rebounds and almost four assists in his final season, during which he turned 40 years old.