Top 15 Worst Second Generation NHLers

Gordie and Mark Howe. The Griffey's. Dell and Steph.

Every professional athlete with a son hopes his boy will follow in his athletic footsteps, while almost every son of a pro hopes to one day emulate their father and carry on the family's legacy.

In some cases, like the Howe's and the Griffey's, the father-son combo gets the unique chance to step out onto the field of play together.

In other cases, the apple does in fact fall far from the tree.

While the sporting world loves to get excited about the offspring of a former star, more often than not the son cannot reach the bar set by his father. This story has played itself out time and time again in the National Hockey League, and while there are plenty of examples where the son outdoes the father - Max Domi is on his way to doing just that - there are just as many, if not more failed second generation NHLers.

Anyone who has ever played any organized form of the sport  knows what hockey dads can be like. The pressure to perform well for one individual can become suffocating - what must it be like when your hockey dad's day job is to score goals for an NHL team? Worse than that: what if you father's day job was to score goals for an NHL team, an NHL team you now play for and are expected to perform equally as well for (if not better)?

It sounds so simple, but it can't always be easy being a second generation NHLer. It certainly wasn't for these individuals (we kept the list to the most notable names).

15 Marty Howe (Gordie Howe) 


While Gordie and Mark carved out memorable careers, Marty struggled to first make it to the National Hockey League and then stick there. He finished his career with only 197 games played and 31 total points. The majority of his career was spent in the World Hockey Association and then bouncing between the American Hockey League and the NHL.

14 Landon Ferraro (Ray Ferraro) 

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

13 Brett Sutter (Darryl Sutter) 

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

It's almost easy to forget that Darryl Sutter's son is getting a regular shift in the NHL, what with the fact that it's a lot more interesting to follow the seemingly grudgeful life and times of Darryl Sutter, Los Angeles Kings head coach. The older Sutter had a fine NHL career and is now the proud owner of two Cup rings as a head coach.

12 Jarred Tinordi (Mark Tinordi) 

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal Canadiens fans waited a long, long time for Jarred Tinordi to get a fair shake with the Habs.

He never did.

Now, Tinordi's legacy will always be remembered mainly by the fact that he was a small part of the John Scott fiasco that engulfed the league's All-Star Weekend, as opposed to being the brawn on a defensive pairing with either Nathan Beaulieu or P.K. Subban for the next decade. Tinordi was seemingly incapable of fully settling into the pace of play in the NHL, nor did he ever seem comfortable playing under a coaching staff that has little to no patience for the growing pains of young players.

11 Nick Vachon (Rogie Vachon) 


Rogie Vachon is something of a "legend" in Quebec, insomuch that he gets a bit of a different treatment than most of the top goalies to play for the Canadiens have gotten over the years. Roy, Dryden and Plante (and maybe one day Price) were and still are revered by Habs fans. Vachon's spot in history comes with a more divisive conversation, but there was no doubting his talent. He racked up 355 wins in 795 games to go along with a career 2.99 goals against average and 51 shutouts.

10 Marcus Foligno (Mike Foligno) 

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Foligno was not only known for being a decent hockey player - he's fondly remembered for his jumping celebration every time he put the puck in the net.

His oldest son, Nick, has had plenty of reason to jump for joy during his NHL career (in terms of individual statistics, at least), especially over the last couple of years.

9 Terry Clancy (King Clancy) 


8 Gerry Abel (Sid Abel) 


Sid Abel did it all in the National Hockey League. He played in 612 NHL games and put up 472 points, he coached the Red Wings to four Stanley Cup Finals (and lost them all, unfortunately) and 382 wins, and even worked as a general manager for a time before turning to the broadcasting booth. Abel was even, at one time, considered one of the top 100 players of all-time by The Hockey News.

7 Keegan Lowe (Kevin Lowe) 

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

6 Tim Erixon (Jan Erixon) 

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Jan Erixon earned the nickname "The Shadow" for his elite ability to cover the opposition's top players. Tim Erixon, on the other hand, will eventually end up with a nickname that will reference his now lengthy trade history.

5 Sam Gagner (Dave Gagner) 

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Gagner exploded onto the scene not only because of his incredible talent and his seemingly complete offensive game - he also caught the attention of many around the league thanks to his slick hands and incredible one-on-one ability in the shootout.

It seems this got the Oilers a little too excited, who picked Gagner sixth overall in the 2007 draft and proceeded to slot him directly into their NHL lineup.

4 John Ferguson Jr. (John Ferguson Sr.) 


John Ferguson Sr. was not only one of the most respected and feared players of his era, he was also an effective hockey player and later on dabbled in coaching. He left behind a legacy for his son to continue to carry after he was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens, the same team his father patrolled for during his prime as an enforcer.

3 Steve Gainey (Bob Gainey) 


While the Gainey name took a bit of a hit during the tail-end of Bob Gainey's tenure as general manager of the Habs, his reputation as a player and a leader will never be tarnished. Gainey led the Habs to five cups and wore the "C" for nearly a decade.

2 Dan Geoffrion (Bernie Geoffrion)  


Living in the shadow of a man who not only became a Montreal Canadiens icon, but also invented a major aspect of the sport as we know it, can't be easy for anyone - but Dan Geoffrion's story was supposed to be different. Drafted 8th overall by the Habs in 1978, Geoffrion was supposed to pick up where his father left off all those years ago - if not surpass his dad on the list of Canadiens greats.

1 Chris Bourque (Ray Bourque) 


While no one was expected Chris Bourque to come anywhere close to matching his father's legendary career, the expectation was that Bourque would develop into a solid NHL player.

Fast-forward a decade after his name was called at the 2004 draft and Chris Bourque has solidified his label as a JAG: just a guy. Bourque has only appeared in 51 career NHL games and has spent his entire career as a minor-league journeyman. He even ventured over to Europe and eventually the KHL during parts of his career.

Give TheSportster a Thumbs up!

Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?

Get Your Free Access Now!

More in NHL

Top 15 Worst Second Generation NHLers