Monday, June 23, 2008

Looking to write their own templates for success

In his book The 100 Greatest hockey arguments, Bob McCown lists a number of key elements of hockey, none perhaps more important than the amateur draft.

Item number 60 in the book, highlights how a bit of knowledge and a bit of luck can change the fortunes of a team with one great draft year. McCown’s top five teams who reaped the most on draft day include the 1984 Calgary Flames, 1971 Montreal Canadiens, 1980 Edmonton Oilers, 1979 Edmonton Oilers and the template for all that is successful the 1989 Detroit Red Wings.

On draft day in recent years every GM wants to find that secret formula that Ken Holland has discovered, the one that year after year seems to retool the Motor City’s perennially successful hockey club.

The 89 Wings featured a number of key players that have had a major impact in the NHL since their names were called from the podium, in 89 the Wings harvested six names that were the backbone of the franchise and still echo in the seats of the Joe, one a continuation of the tradition of quiet but steady leaders on the ice.

From that 89 draft the Red Wings selected Mike Sillinger 11th, Bob Bougher 32nd, Nicklas Lidstrom 53rd, Sergei Federov 74th, Dallas Drake 116th and Vladimir Konstantinov 221st.

They were selections, especially in the later rounds that changed the face of the Red Wings and led to successive seasons at the top of the NHL heap; it’s a feat that every GM hopes to accomplish over the course of their administrative years. The defining moment of their careers, the one that separates them from their peers

This year’s crop of players has been considered a pretty good collection of young talent, but it will be a few years before we see if one team jumped far ahead of the pack, thanks to a GM’s wise selections through the two day festival.

Below we’ll highlight a few of the key moments from the weekend’s activities, where instant success must give way to long term planning, but immediate needs couldn’t be overlooked if the right opportunity presented itself.

Montreal Canadiens-- Tangles with Keenan led to Tanguay's exit from Flames
Montreal Canadiens-- Sundin hard to fit under salary cap
Montreal Canadiens-- Kristo could be a keeper for Habs

Ottawa Senators-- He's small, but mighty talented
Ottawa Senators-- The long, painful goodbye all but complete
Ottawa Senators-- Wade to go ... finally

Toronto Maple Leafs-- There's no Wing-ing it with Leafs' new strategy
Toronto Maple Leafs-- A moment of Schenn
Toronto Maple Leafs-- Hate-love affair for Mats

Edmonton Oilers-- Oilers unable to swing deal on draft's second day
Edmonton Oilers-- Newest Oilers a mix of skill, size and grit
Edmonton Oilers-- Late scout honoured

Calgary Flames-- Flames steal spotlight at draft
Calgary Flames-- Flames score on forward strategy
Calgary Flames-- Moves made at NHL draft will allow Flames to add vital pieces of puzzle, now and later

Vancouver Canucks-- New GM not one of the boys
Vancouver Canucks-- Delorme, other scouts expecting changes
Vancouver Canucks-- Past is done for late pick

Boston Bruins-- Is Hossa on Bruins' radar?
Boston Bruins-- Bruins act fast in taking swift-skating Sauve
Boston Bruins-- Bruins quite the characters

Buffalo Sabres-- Sabres’ youngsters to get taste
Buffalo Sabres-- Paper trail led Sabres to Myers
Buffalo Sabres-- Sabres select defenseman Myers, center Ennis in first round

New York Islanders-- Islanders amass prospects, but how many stars?
New York Islanders-- Ness goes to the Islanders

New York Rangers-- Rangers take puck-moving defenseman Del Zotto

New Jersey Devils-- Devils draft Swedish left wing

Philadelphia Flyers-- Playoffs helped Eminger find self
Philadelphia Flyers-- Bourdon could be star of Flyers' draft crop
Philadelphia Flyers-- After draft, Flyers still have more work to do

Pittsburgh Penguins-- Hossa to test free agency
Pittsburgh Penguins-- Penguins shoot for the Moon with 120th pick
Pittsburgh Penguins-- Malkin still willing to take lower salary

Washington Capitals-- Capitals Spurn Offers, Pick Six
Washington Capitals-- Capitals draft Gustafsson
Washington Capitals-- Caps Make 2 Trades to Draft Center, Defenseman

Carolina Hurricanes-- 'Canes sign Gleason
Carolina Hurricanes-- Hurricanes keep key piece with new deal
Carolina Hurricanes-- Hurricanes feel lucky to get Dalpe

Atlanta Thrashers-- New Thrashers coach sheds tears after long wait's reward
Atlanta Thrashers-- Thrashers select a Georgian
Atlanta Thrashers-- Bogosian could help shore up weak defense

Florida Panthers-- Panthers finally dump Jokinen
Florida Panthers-- Trade looks like another bad Cats move
Florida Panthers-- Martin picks hearty crop of defensemen

Tampa Bay Lightning-- Stamkos heralds new era in Tampa
Tampa Bay Lightning-- Lightning owners are wacky, but good-hearted
Tampa Bay Lightning-- Lightning to name head coach on Tuesday

Dallas Stars-- Stars won’t try to trade up in draft
Dallas Stars-- Dallas Stars' draft picks
Dallas Stars-- Dallas Stars add 5 on Day 2 of draft

Nashville Predators-- Preds deal for Day 2 picks
Nashville Predators-- For Predators, a tale of two summers
Nashville Predators-- Weber signs three-year deal with Predators

St. Louis Blues-- Score another for the defense
St. Louis Blues-- Important 'P' is patience, not power play
St. Louis Blues-- Davidson still has plenty to do

Detroit Red Wings-- Wings select top goalie McCollum in draft
Detroit Red Wings-- Wings prove they can pick 'em
Detroit Red Wings-- Wings are close to deal with Lilja

Chicago Black Hawks-- Hawks thrilled with Lalonde
Chicago Black Hawks-- Blackhawks make it a day for the Beach
Chicago Black Hawks-- Blackhawks draft 5 defensemen on 2nd day

Minnesota Wild-- It's time for a solid base hit for the Wild
Minnesota Wild-- Trade nixed, Wild selects defenseman
Minnesota Wild-- Wild selects 67's Cuma 23rd overall

Colorado Avalanche-- Avalanche centers on possible void
Colorado Avalanche-- Promising goalie worth a deal
Colorado Avalanche-- Sakic will delay decision to retire

Phoenix Coyotes-- Coyotes win with Jokinen deal
Phoenix Coyotes-- Coyotes acquire RW Bourret
Phoenix Coyotes-- Tocchet expected to leave

Anaheim Ducks-- Ducks getting Badgered about their future
Anaheim Ducks-- Jake Gardiner is the newest Duck
Anaheim Ducks-- Ducks finish draft with 10 prospects

Los Angeles Kings-- Jake Gardiner fits into Ducks' plans
Los Angeles Kings-- Kings acquire RW Richardson
Los Angeles Kings-- Kings, Ducks have pressing issues after draft

San Jose Sharks-- Twins book end draft
San Jose Sharks-- Sharks snag seven prospects in second day of draft
San Jose Sharks-- Sharks let Campbell shop

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