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 Canuckz.com 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.