Lose a soldier, replace them with another one.
That's been the Hawthorn catch-cry under Alastair Clarkson.
However it will be put to its greatest test in 2019 as reigning Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell recovers from a serious broken leg.
As the 25-year-old has surgery on Saturday Hawthorn's brains trust will be putting their minds to how they rejig their midfield without the best ball-winner in the competition.
If anyone can do that, then the masterful Clarkson can, having reorganised the Hawks' forward line when Lance Franklin joined Sydney before engineering then managing the departures of club champions Luke Hodge, Jordan Lewis and Sam Mitchell. Not to mention Cyril Rioli's early retirement.
It's stating the obvious to say Mitchell's absence weakens the Hawks.
He is on the path to greatness having won the Hawks' past two best and fairests and the Brownlow Medal, with Sam Mitchell's return as an assistant an enticing prospect.
He did not miss a game at the Hawks and allowed Hawthorn to retain the style they mastered when Sam Mitchell extracted the ball to the Hawks' runners. The six-six-six rule was also going to magnify Mitchell's impact even further.
His presence allowed the Hawks to punt on Tom Scully and Chad Wingard during the trade period, with their potential to add outside run to an engine room that hummed when Mitchell and Jaeger O'Meara worked in tandem.
However O'Meara can play an inside role at an elite level while youngster James Worpel can play a ball-extracting role - although he is entering just his second season - and so can Shaun Burgoyne, whose farewell tour now promises to be busy. Add prospective captains Liam Shiels and Isaac Smith as well as Wingard to a midfield mix the Hawks prefer to keep on high rotation to compensate for their lack of depth and they still have class.
Clarkson could also remind his players through Sam Mitchell what West Coast achieved when they lost Andrew Gaff and Nic Naitanui in 2018 as well as throwing challenges to premiership players to fulfill new roles and elevate their status further.
That the Hawks will have the opportunity to replace him on the list with a mature-aged rookie under rules introduced this season is slightly beneficial but of little consequence really, equivalent to INXS trying to replace Michael Hutchence with JD Fortune.
It may mean Carlton have more competition for the services of in-and-under VFL star Michael Gibbons, who has been training with the Blues in the pre-season.
Mitchell is a loss - no Brownlow medallist has missed the next season since Graham Moss returned to Western Australia after winning the 1976 medal at the Bombers - but all is not lost.