For many Canucks fans, the 2011 Stanley Cup Final seems like yesterday. Hard to believe, but seven years have passed since the greatest team in franchise history’s run to Game 7 against Boston.
So much time has passed that just two players from that team remain. Only five have an NHL contract for next season, while 15 have retired.
Here’s an update on what the 2011 Vancouver Canucks are doing now:
The entire top line from the 2011 team is now retired, after the Sedins and Alex Burrows said goodbye in the last three months.
Henrik and Daniel Sedin ended their careers in style, combining for the winning goal in their last-ever home game at Rogers Arena. Ranking No. 1 and 2 in franchise scoring, the career-Canucks haven’t decided on a post-hockey playing career yet, though they’re going to remain in Vancouver with their families.
Burrows didn’t exactly have a storybook end to his career, being bought out of the final year of his contract by the Ottawa Senators.
A Canucks player for 12 seasons, Burrows will begin his next career right away, as an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens’ AHL affiliate in Laval.
Christian Ehrhoff left the Canucks as a free agent following the 2011 run, signing a monstrous 10-year, $40 million contract with Buffalo. He was bought out of the deal after his third season with the Sabres, leaving the team to pay him $857,143 for the next 14 years.
After stints in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, and Chicago, Ehrhoff played the last two seasons back home in Germany with the Cologne Sharks. He represented his country at the Olympics in February and retired a month later.
He’ll receive a pay cheque from the Sabres until 2028.
Chris Higgins’ playing career came to an end after the 2015-16 season, after the Canucks bought him out of the final year of his contract. He’s now an analyst with TSN 1040 sports radio.
Forced to retire at the start of the 2016-17 season due to lingering knee problems, at last check Raffi Torres was living in Stouffville, Ontario, 48-km outside of Toronto, with his wife and two kids.
Salo retired following a remarkably healthy season with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2014 – he played 71 games, the third-highest total in his NHL career. Salo, who helped out as a coach at Canucks development camp last year, is an assistant coach with TPS Turku, where he kept a watchful eye on prospect Olli Juolevi.
Mikael Samuelsson played a season in the Swedish Hockey League with Djurgardens IF before retiring following the 2014-15 season. He’s now a European Development Coach with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Cody Hodgson was thought to be a young star on the rise back in 2011, but his career flamed out quickly. He retired two years ago at the age of 26, after he was diagnosed with malignant hyperthermia, a genetic disorder that can be triggered by prolonged physical activity.
Hodgson now runs the youth-development program, promoting and building hockey at the grassroots level for the Nashville Predators, the last NHL team he played for.
Aaron Rome played one more season with the Canucks following the 2011 run, scoring a three-year contract worth $1.5 million per season from the Dallas Stars. He was bought out of the final year of his deal in 2014, which more or less ended his hockey career.
A stay-at-home defenceman, Rome scored just six goals in his NHL career, plus one during the 2011 playoffs. He’s now (ironically?) a skills coach for the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings.
Manny Malhotra was never the same after suffering a serious eye injury late in the 2010-11 regular season. After stops in Carolina and Montreal, Malhotra’s playing career came to an end after the 2015-16 season with the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters.
After being bought out of his contract by the Canucks in 2013, Keith Ballard played two seasons with his hometown team, the Minnesota Wild.
Ballard suffered a serious concussion in December of 2014 and never played another game again. At last check, he was pursuing a degree in sports management at the University of Minnesota.
Speaking of concussions, Andrew Alberts never played another game after suffering one at the hands of Brian McGrattan in December of 2013. Seven months later, he was forced to retire.
At last check, Alberts was still dealing with the effects of post-concussion syndrome, living in Deephaven, Minnesota with his wife and son.
Jeff Tambellini’s last NHL game was Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, in his hometown, in 2011. Too bad the game didn’t end differently, because otherwise that would have been one hell of a way to go out.
The speedy winger played six more seasons, mostly in Europe, before retiring in 2017. He was an assistant coach with the University of Michigan last season, educating new Canucks draft pick Quinn Hughes on Vancouver. He was named head coach and general manager of the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters in April.
Victor Oreskovich played just one NHL game following the 2011 Cup run and retired entirely in 2012, at the age of 25.
Following his pro hockey career, Oreskovich went back to school to get his MBA. He now works for Royal Bank of Canada, in the field of mid-market mergers and acquisitions in Ontario.
Three players have contracts for other NHL teams for next season.
Traded to the Florida Panthers in 2014, Roberto Luongo receives $800,000 a year from the Vancouver Canucks. Still an elite goaltender, Luongo will turn 40 years old before the end of next season.
Cory Schneider battled injuries for much of the second half of last season, losing his starting job because of it. He didn’t start the first two games of the playoffs, but eventually got his net back, posting good numbers in the three games he started.
Now 32, he’s looking for a bounce-back season in 2018-19.
Dealing with a hip ailment, it remains to be seen how many games Ryan Kesler will be able to play with the Anaheim Ducks next season. He played just 44 last year, registering only 14 points. He turns 34 in August.
Just two players remain with the Canucks, both defencemen.
With the Sedins retiring, Alex Edler is now the longest-serving active Canucks player. The 32-year-old has played 758 games for the Canucks since being drafted in 2004.
Chris Tanev was an injury call-up during the 2011 cup run, as a fresh-faced 21-year-old rookie. After Edler, he’s the longest-serving active player on the Canucks’ roster.
Four players are without contracts next season, with their NHL futures up in the air.
An unsigned unrestricted free agent, Kevin Bieksa is currently without a team after playing the past three seasons in Anaheim. He had zero goals and eight assists in 59 games with the Ducks last year. He’s 37, so retirement is a possibility.
Jannik Hansen is also an unsigned free agent without a team. At 32-years-old, he’s coming off a terrible season in San Jose that saw him score just two goals and 12 assists in 46 games.
Now 35, Dan Hamhuis has been a dependable defenseman for the Dallas Stars for the past two seasons, missing just three games. He’s coming off a 24-point campaign, but is still without a team in free agency.
Tanner Glass has spent more time in the AHL than the NHL the past two seasons, seeing just 16 games for the Calgary Flames last year. The 34-year-old is currently without a team for next year.
Three players played in Europe last year, with two of them getting to play for Canada at the Olympics in February.
Mason Raymond made the move to Switzerland last season, starring for SC Bern. He won a bronze medal for Canada at the Olympic Games.
Another Olympic medal winner for Canada, Maxim Lapierre has been playing pro hockey in Europe since 2015. He’s currently a member of HC Lugano in Switzerland.
Alexandre Bolduc appeared in just 65 NHL games, including 24 during the regular season and three in the playoffs for the Canucks in 2010-11. He’s been playing in Europe since 2015, but is currently without a team.
Alain Vigneault, along with his two top assistants – Rick Bowness and Newell Brown – have had steady work since leaving the organization in 2013.
Let go by the New York Rangers following the 2017-18 season, Vigneault is without a team. He’s likely waiting for the right situation, as the 57-year-old is surely still a highly sought-after head coach in the NHL.
After five seasons as an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Bowness is now Jim Montgomery’s assistant with the Dallas Stars.
After being let go from the Canucks’ coaching staff in 2013, Brown spent four years in the Coyotes organization before returning to Vancouver last season.