Many teams can win a single championship. Usually as a result of some big ticket free agent player or maybe just plain luck. But it takes real talent to become a repeat champion. Very few teams are able to recapture the glory of a title season. Other teams are out to topple the champs, and key players often switch employers in search of more money. In rare instances, a collection of management, coaching, and players can combine to create dynasties, where a team will win multiple championships over a short time. Jordan. Jeter. Kobe. Brodeur. See where the greatest players fit into our list of Greatest Sports Dynasties.
From 1980 to 1988, there were three different Stanley Cup champions. Had Edmonton’s Steve Smith not scored on his own net in 1986, there would have only been two. Smith’s own goal paved the way for Montreal to sandwich its 23rd Cup between four Oilers’ championships. Before the run-and-gun Wayne Gretzky led Oil began a streak of four in five, Bryan Trottier and the New York Islanders finished a run of four straight titles, the last of which was a crushing 4-0 sweep of the Oilers. Edmonton didn’t return the favour, but still beat the Isles in just five in 1984. Oh, what could have been, save for an errant pass from dependable defender Smith.