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Thursday, February 23, 2012

How to Build a Contender: A Case Study

One seventh-round pick was used in the making of this photo.
A few weeks ago I wrote an article comparing the rebuilding efforts in Edmonton and Toronto, with the basis being that there are many ways to build a team, and the traditional tank hard and draft high method isn't always a guarantee for success.

I've thought a lot about how teams go about building a contender, mainly because the Maple Leafs are so routinely whipped for Brian Burke's current rebuild, and that led me to examine the league's top two teams, the New York Rangers and the Detroit Red Wings.

The last time either team had a lottery pick was in 1999, which is the year New York selected Pavel Brendl fourth overall. You have to go all the way back to 1990 for the last time the Red Wings selected in the top-5; that year they took Keith Primeau third overall.

Clearly, neither team has undergone the prototypical rebuilding method, which most fans view as the only true way to create a legitimate Stanley Cup threat.

Today's article at The Good Point looks at just how the Rangers and Red Wings came to sit at the top of the standings.

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