If it weren’t for Daniel and Henrik Sedin, the memorable Canucks playoff runs during the late 00s and early 2010s wouldn’t have been possible.
Even though things don’t look good now, the team has managed to hit the jackpot before
By Mo Hussain, Contributor
There are currently constant murmurings about the Vancouver Canucks needing to make a big move amid being last in the pacific division. Although the consensus would be to look at making a change in the front office or on the bench, rumours of that “big move” being a trade instead is definitely not out of the picture. The team has had its share of franchise-altering trades throughout its history. Here are the three best trades the team has ever made:
1. Trading for the Sedin twins
The Sedin twins are the best players to ever put on Canucks jerseys. The twins are the top two Canucks all-time leaders in points and assists, and Daniel Sedin is also the team’s all-time goal leader. If it weren’t for Daniel and Henrik Sedin, the memorable Canucks playoff runs during the late 00s and early 2010s wouldn’t have been possible.
The pair was traded for during the 1999 NHL Draft. Leading up to the draft, the Canucks already had the 3rd overall pick. However, that single pick would not be enough to pick up both players.
To acquire another pick to lock down both twins, the Canucks did the following:
- Traded defenseman Bryan McCabe + a future first-round pick (Pavel Vorobiev) to the Chicago Blackhawks for the 4th overall pick (Pavel Brendl)
- Then traded that fourth overall pick (Pavel Brendl) + two third-round draft picks (Brett Scheffelmaier & Jimmie Olvestad) to the Tampa Bay Lighting for the 1st overall pick (Patrick Stefan)
- Then traded that first overall pick (Patrick Stefan) to the Atlanta Thrashers for the second overall pick (Daniel Sedin) + third-round pick (Max Birbraer)
The Canucks got the better end of this deal by a long shot as none of those players became noteworthy besides McCabe who played 15 seasons in the NHL.
2. Trading for Markus Naslund
Markus Naslund comes right after the Sedin Twins in the Canucks all-time leaders for points and goals. Naslund was the Canucks team captain for seven seasons. The team only missed the playoffs twice during his captaincy run. The Canucks made it as far as the conference semi-finals twice. What’s surreal to comprehend is what the Canucks gave up to get him.
On March 20th, 1996, the Canucks traded away forward Alek Stojanov for Naslund. Stojanov had been drafted seventh overall by the Canucks in the 1991 NHL Draft and picked up only seven points in 107 NHL games. It’s safe to say the Canucks got the better end of this deal.
3. Trading for Roberto Luongo
On June 23rd, 2006, the Vancouver Canucks gave up (what was at that time) a lot to pick up a 26-year old Roberto Luongo. The team traded perennial scorer Todd Bertuzzi and two promising 26-year old’s in defenceman Bryan Allen and goalie Alex Auld.
In hindsight, the Canucks definitely got the better of the deal. Luongo would go on to become the winningest goalie in Canucks history, Canucks all-time leader in shutouts, and is the second Canucks all-time leader in goals-against average and save percentage. Luongo was also the seventh goalie in NHL history to become captain of an NHL team when he captained the Canucks for close to two years.
As for when the Canucks are going to pull off another trade of the same calibre as the ones mentioned above is still undetermined. However, considering the team’s trajectory so far this season, the question doesn’t seem to be whether the team will make a big move, but rather when?