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NHL's Best Succession Plan

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01-08-2011, 02:10 AM
  #1
Stephen
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NHL's Best Succession Plan

In the history of the NHL, what was the best succession plan? By that, I mean in what scenario was a team able to replace an old veteran star player and leader of the team with a young gun without losing a beat, going on to experience a lot of success with the new player, maintaining the tradition of excellence? Something along the lines of a Bobby Orr to Ray Bourque or Jean Beliveau to Guy Lafleur or more recently, perhaps Joe Sakic to Matt Duchene.

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01-08-2011, 04:28 AM
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steve141
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The succession plan for Orr was Park, not Bourque.

In my mind a good succession plan is where you don't lose a step in the process. The Avs were terrible for a few years until the young guns could start to fill in the gap from Sakic/Forsberg.

The 50s-70s Canadiens is probably the best example of sustained greatness, so I guess the answer to your question should be somewhere there.

For a more current example, Detroit's shifting from the 90s of Shanahan, Yzerman, Fedorov, Murphy to the 00s of Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Chelios and Rafalski was pretty smooth.

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01-08-2011, 06:59 AM
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Sumoki Dachiba
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I would say Lemieux to Crosby is probably close to if not the best of all time, definitely the best recently. And wasn't it Orr to Park to Bourque?

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01-08-2011, 05:51 PM
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Zil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumoki Dachiba View Post
I would say Lemieux to Crosby is probably close to if not the best of all time, definitely the best recently. And wasn't it Orr to Park to Bourque?
What are you talking about? The Penguins were awful for years before they got Crosby. The OP is talking about a contender who stayed a contender while switching from one generation of players to the next.

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01-08-2011, 06:07 PM
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Leafs had a very smooth succession of being bad with Sundin/McCabe/Antropov to being bad with Kessel/Phaneuf/Grabovski

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01-08-2011, 11:08 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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It has to be the Canadiens ripping off desperate expansion teams to get the #1 pick in the draft allowing them to draft Guy Lafleur.

From Sam Pollock's entry on wikipedia:

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Pollock believed drafting good young prospects was the key to long term success in the NHL. To this end he was always scheming, sometimes years in advance, in order to be in position to pick up the "cream of the crop" in any annual entry level draft.

Among one of his shrewdest moves, was a series of trades in which the Canadiens obtained the first overall pick in the 1971 NHL Entry Draft, the year in which Guy Lafleur would be eligible. It appeared as if the first overall selection would be held by the California Golden Seals so he persuaded Seals owner Charlie Finley to trade the Seals' pick and François Lacombe in return for Montreal's first round pick and a veteran Ernie Hicke. However, during the 1970-71 season, the Los Angeles Kings were playing even more poorly than the hapless California Seals. The Kings were in danger of "beating" the Seals out for last place, and if this happened Pollock would lose his first overall pick. Pollock cleverly traded the aging but still valuable Ralph Backstrom to the Kings for two insignificant players. Backstrom's presence lifted the Kings out of last place, the Seals finished at the bottom, granting the Habs the first pick. Pollock hesitated between Lafleur and Marcel Dionne, but chose Lafleur with his overall no.1 pick.[2]

On another occasion he traded two college prospects to Boston for a young goalie named Ken Dryden. He was also instrumental in acquiring Larry Robinson, Serge Savard, Guy Lapointe and Yvan Cournoyer, all of whom would become superstars for the Canadiens.

In another deal, one which was never consummated, New York Islanders GM Bill Torrey drafted defenceman Denis Potvin first overall in the 1973 entry draft, Pollock approached Torrey, hoping to trade for Potvin. Pollock's strategy was to offer a "quick-fix" package of mature players in exchange for the top draft pick. Although it was tempting, as the Islanders would immediately benefit from the trade, Torrey ultimately turned down the offer. Potvin went on to be a long-term asset to the Islanders, leading them to 4 consecutive Stanley Cups.

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01-09-2011, 12:47 AM
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JaymzB
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Elmer Lach to Jean Beliveau?

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01-10-2011, 01:52 AM
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Sumoki Dachiba
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What are you talking about? The Penguins were awful for years before they got Crosby. The OP is talking about a contender who stayed a contender while switching from one generation of players to the next.
Yah sorry man, I guess the Sakic to Duchene comment threw me off. I read the OP as 'without missing a beat' in terms of having a top notch star player. In my defense, it was late and it was not explicitly stated in the OP that the team in question was hugely successful immediately prior to the player switch, just that it had a 'tradition of excellence'.

In terms of team success the Detroit teams of the 1990-2000s and Habs from the 50's to 70's were all pretty fluid. It's hard to think of one 'player for player' succession where a retiring vet was immediately replaced by a new hero. Maybe Yzerman to Datsyuk qualifies.

How about Newsy Lalonde to Howie Morenz? There was a small gap between them but I think that it is a pretty good example of a solid succession plan.

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