Roberts is an odd character to be on the list. A goalie, Roberts played in just eight NHL games. The first seven of those games came by the time that Roberts was 27. After his career with the New York Americans was done, Roberts played 272 more games in the minor leagues and then left the game for five full years.
On Nov. 25, 1951, Chicago's Harry Lumley was injured during a game against Detroit. The call went out to Roberts, who was the Blackhawks' assistant trainer. Roberts played the final 20 minutes of the game and didn't allow a goal. Among Roberts' saves was a close-in shot by Gordie Howe, who three decades later would break the age record set by Roberts that day.
My favorite line about Chelios playing this long was by Dominik Hasek (himself over 40). Hasek once said, "I like it. Whenever a reporter asks me a question about being old, I point over there and say, 'Go talk to Cheli.'"