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The 40 Greatest Canucks of All-Time, 1-10

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for…the top ten of our top 40 Canucks of all-time countdown! I think most Canucks fans would have these players in their top ten, but the order in which they appear is sure to stir up debate. Henrik won the Hart, Naslund won the Pearson, Linden has the most points and Bure was the most electrifying. Among goalies, McLean won the big game but Luongo has the best numbers. Who is the best? Only knows for sure:

10. Tony Tanti

You don’t hear a lot about Tony Tanti because he played on a lot of bad teams but his numbers are outstanding. He ranks 8th in all-time scoring. Too bad he joined the team the year after their run in 1982 and was traded away before the team’s resurgence in the 1990s.

9. Kirk McLean

Arguably their best player during the run to the finals in 1994, McLean was a Vezina trophy candidate in the early 1990s. McLean was a big game goalie and is best known for his series saving save off Robert Reichel in 1994, but my most fond memory is of him stealing game 1 of the 1994 Finals:

8. Thomas Gradin

Perhaps the most underrated player in team history. Gradin was a consistent point producer along with Smyl during the late 70s and early 80s. He ranks 8th in career playoff scoring.

7. Stan Smyl

While somewhat short on talent, he made up for it with grit and determination. Smyl is the first player to have his number retired in club history. He was also an integral part of the team during their run to the finals in 1982. He still ranks third in all-time points.

6. Roberto Luongo

Without a doubt the best goalie in team history, his year in 2006-07 would have won the Vezina most years. Despite his drop in popularity in recent years, he’s still a superstar and could well end up being #1 on this list by the end of his career.

5. Pavel Bure

Perhaps the most talented player in team history, he’s undoubtedly the most electrifying. He thrilled fans for years and did it in the playoffs too. He loses points for his lack of longevity and the fact he put up a lot of his points in an era in which it was easier to do so (as opposed to the dead puck era).

4. Daniel Sedin

If Henrik is #3, then Daniel has to be #4. He’s done everything Henrik has, save for missing a few games last year due to injury. He also ranks second in career OT goals.

3. Henrik Sedin

Already the all-time assists leader (in fewer games than Linden, Smyl and Naslund), he is also the only Canuck to win the Hart  and Art Ross Trophy and holds the club record for most points in a season. Not much team success in the playoffs, but has two career playoff goals.

2. Markus Naslund

If only Dan Cloutier could have saved a few more shots in the playoffs, Markus Naslund would certainly be in the top spot. He ranks #1 all-time in regular season goals and points, but whether his fault or not, he didn’t accomplish much in the playoffs. Still, his numbers are hard to ignore. His season in 2002-03 (48 goals, 56 assists) is probably the most prolific offensive output made by a Canuck when you consider it was done in the dead puck era.

1. Trevor Linden

Captain Canuck. The best leader in Canucks history he ranks 2nd in goals, assists and points during the regular season but it is his playoff production that secures his spot at #1. He ranks first in goals, assists and points in the playoffs, including a few of those in game 7s. He scored the overtime winner in game 6 vs Calgary in 1994 as well as the only two goals in game 7 vs New York. Even late in his career he found a way to score big goals, getting the game winner in game 7 against Dallas in 2007. Goals, assists, hits (ask Jeff Norton), shootouts, faceoffs, he did just about everything for the Canucks and did it for a long time. Without a doubt the only choice as #1 on our top 40 Canucks of all-time.

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8 Response to The 40 Greatest Canucks of All-Time, 1-10

  1. Binh Ho on September 23, 2010

    Bure should be 3rd on this list! The Sedins need another great year before they can surpass him!

  2. Robert Williams on September 24, 2010

    Yes, that's what I struggled with too. But I have to admit, Henrik winning the Hart while Bure was never even nominated was a huge factor. Also, Bure was never as good defensively as the Sedins.

    • Binh Ho on September 24, 2010

      Although they've increased their sexy quotient at least threefold in the last couple of years, they're still miles – heck, even kilometres – behind (and surely will never catch up to) Bure. That needs to count for something too.

      • Robert Williams on September 28, 2010

        How many Hart Trophies does Bure have in his trophy room?

        • Anonymous on September 29, 2010

          How many times have the Sedins appeared in Mark Messier's dreams?

        • Binh Ho on September 29, 2010

          How many times have the Sedins starred in Mark Messier's dreams as a hunky navy sailor wandering about the local village?

  3. Canucks94 on October 23, 2010

    luongo ahead of smyl, sedins ahead of bure?… n1. Linden n2. Smyl n3. Bure n4. Naslund

    • Robertwilliams6 on October 27, 2010

      Yes. n nLuongo is the greatest goalie in franchise history. He was 2nd in Vezina Trophy voting in 2007 and nearly nominated again in 2009. Stole the series against Dallas in 2007 (Canucks were shutout in 3 games yet still won series). He's had 2 subpar series against an excellent team in Chicago. The worst season he's put up (numbers-wise) was .913 SV% and 2.57 GAA. Still good numbers. n nSmyl ranks lower than Luongo because Smyl put up more than 30 goals on 3 times in his career while getting over 80 points only once. Those aren't impressive numbers especially when you consider he played in an era in which goals were far easier to come by. If you want to give him points for being on a team that made a fluke run to the finals in 82, then maybe also deduct points to consider that he never made it past the 1st round in the rest of his career. Great guy, good leader, but not a truly great player. n nSedins vs Bure argument is a good one. Hard to distinguish, but gave nod to Sedins based on Hart Trophy for Henrik (Bure was never nominated for one) and fact that Sedins have put up numbers in a tougher era to score. Sedins also better in their own zone. Bure was flashier, but I think the Sedins have surpassed him. Bure had the big run in 94, which is the best argument in his favour, otherwise he fared about the same as Sedins in playoffs.


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