Top 10 Canucks of all time
By Josh Martin, Sports Editor
With the lockout in affect and the fact that there’s no hockey being played in the NHL, I decided to make a list and honour the top 10 Canucks of all time. This week features the top Canucks ranked 10 to six.
#10 – Todd Bertuzzi – The bruiting power forward left quite the legacy in Vancouver and was a part of the “West Coast Express” line, which consisted of superstars Markus Näslund and Brendan Morrison. He is arguably the best power forward to ever wear a Canucks sweater and has the numbers to back it up with 188 goals and 449 points in 518 games. Unfortunately Bertuzzi is infamously known for the “Steve Moore Incident” towards the end of his tenure as a Canuck, which ultimately led to his plane ticket out of Vancouver.
#9 – Matthias Öhlund – The Swedish defencemen served 11 seasons as a Canuck, putting up 325 points in 770 games while becoming the all-time leader in points among defencemen in the organization. Öhlund was not only a threat on the blue line to opposing goaltenders, but was also one of the toughest defencemen in the NHL, making it extremely hard for the opposition to score. In 2009, Ohlund became an unrestricted free agent in the offseason and signed a seven year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
#8 – Kirk McLean – Captain Kirk is best known as one of the last great stand up goaltenders in the league who backstopped the Canucks to the 1994 Stanley Cup Final against the New York Rangers. His sensational performance throughout the playoffs that year was almost enough to win the Stanley Cup, but Mark Messier and the Rangers came out on top in game seven. McLean has 516 games as a Canuck under his belt, the most of any goaltender in franchise history.
#7 – Stan Smyl – The “Steamer” spent his entire career with the Vancouver Canucks, retiring as the franchise leader in every major statistical category with 262 goals, 411 assists, and 673 points in 896 games (which was later surpassed by Trevor Linden, Markus Näslund, and the Sedin twins). Smyl captained the Canucks for eight seasons, bringing them to their very first Stanley Cup final against the New York Islanders in 1982, where the Canucks ultimately lost in four games to none. Smyl became the first of three Canucks to have his jersey retired, as his number 12 was raised to the rafters in honour of his successful career in Vancouver.
#6 – Roberto Luongo – Arguably the greatest goaltender in franchise history has been through it all as a Vancouver Canuck. Ever since Luongo came to Vancouver from the Florida Panthers he’s been under the microscope. From being named captain, to winning the Olympic Gold in 2010, to coming one game away from winning the Stanley Cup against the Boston Bruins, and to having his starting position taken away by Cory Schneider—it’s been an interesting journey here in Vancouver. Luongo has had his share of ups and downs and whether he remains a Canuck in the near future is uncertain; what is certain is that he will go down as one of the best Canucks of all time.
Stay tuned next issue for the top five Canucks of all time.