On Monday I wrote an article about who best represents jersey number 1-15 in Canucks history. It was an article born out of a bit of fake outrage over something the Canucks official website is doing every day in August.
Just as I was outraged (sort of) over the Canucks official website picking Brent Sopel as #3 instead of Doug Lidster, some fans on Twitter weren’t happy my selection of #6 Sami Salo over Dennis Kearns. I guess I’m getting a taste of my own medicine.
Anyway, back to the list! Today I am featuring numbers 16 to 31. Who wore it best? Lets start with a no brainer…
Was there ever any doubt? The franchise leader in games played, he is one of the best players in team history and certainly the most popular. While he is no longer the all-time leader in regular season points, he still leads the franchise in playoff points and is best remembered for his courageous play in the 1994 Stanley Cup playoffs. Trevor Linden is number 16.
Honourable mention: Ted Taylor
Funny mention: Per-Olov Brasar
You may be mad at him now, but Ryan Kesler is an easy choice at number 17. The only player in franchise history to win a Selke Trophy, he sits 10th all-time in points and 1st all-time in nude photographs.
Honourable mention: Patrik Sundstrom, Ron Sedlbauer
Funny mention: So many good ones (Vladiimr Krutov, Dixon Ward, Bill Muckalt…) but I’m going to go with Vadim Sharifijanov.
A tough decision at number 18, but the decision goes to Darcy Rota, ahead of Hall-of-Famer Igor Larionov. Rota played parts of five seasons with the Canucks, had an 42 goal season in 1982-83 and played an important role on the 1982 Stanley Cup finalist team. He also hosted a sports talk show on CBC during the 1990s (check out the video below, it’s gold).
Honourable mention: Igor Larionov
Funny mention: Bert Robertson, Rory Fitzpatrick or Cam Barker would be fine choices, but I’m going to go with Fedor Fedorov.
Markus Naslund is one of the best players in franchise history and an easy choice at number 19. Naslund is the franchise leader in goals and lead the team in points for seven consecutive seasons, which easily holds up as a franchise record.
Honourable mention: Petr Nedved, Jim Sandlak, Ron Delorme
Funny mention: Mario Marois
It’s slim pickins at number 20, as Bobby Lalonde just barely edged out Chris Higgins. Lalonde played parts of five seasons with the Canucks and was a member of the first playoff team in club history in 1975.
Honourable mention: Chris Higgins
Funny mention: Anatoli Semenov
Lumme is a strong candidate for the Ring of Honour and in the discussion as the best defenceman in franchise history. Lumme’s best season came in 1993-94 when he scored 13 goals and put up 55 points.
Honourable mention: John Gould, Mason Raymond
Funny mention: Zenith Komarniski
Facepalm mention: Cam Neely
Daniel Sedin is quite simply one of the best players in franchise history. Remarkably, he is still underrated when you consider that he is 2nd all-time in points and 1st all-time in overtime goals. He has an Art Ross and a Ted Lindsay Trophy to his credit as well.
Honourable mention: Tiger Williams, Jeff Brown
Funny mention: Craig Coxe
Thomas Gradin is one of five members of the Canucks Ring of Honour, and for good reason. His career isn’t celebrated in the way that Stan Smyl’s has been, but maybe it should be. Gradin lead the team in scoring twice and finished top three in team scoring in seven of his eight seasons in Vancouver. He currently ranks 6th all-time in points.
Honourable mention: Alex Edler, Martin Gelinas, Gerry O’Flaherty
Funny mention: Neil Eisenhut
The third member of the ‘Kid Line’ that also featured Stan Smyl and Thomas Gradin, Curt Fraser was one tough hockey player. His stat line in 1981-82 was particularly remarkable when he put up 28 goals, 67 points and 175 penalty minutes! Fraser was also a physical force on the first Canucks team to go to the Stanley Cup Final, in 1982.
Honourable mention: Matt Cooke, Garry Monahan
Funny mention: Ed Dyck
A Canucks captain for three seasons, Kevin McCarthy was an offensive defenceman that notched 199 points in 352 career games in Vancouver. McCarthy was actually the captain of the 1982 Stanley Cup finalist team, but did not play in any playoff games that year due to a broken ankle. Perhaps that’s why he is often overlooked when people talk about Canucks history (case in point, I guarantee that Orland Kurtenbach will be mentioned on the “official” who wore it best on August 25). But McCarthy was the better player and had the bigger contribution to the franchise.
Honourable mention: Orland Kurtenbach, Andrew Cassels
Funny mention: Alex Stojanov
Along with Tony Tanti, Skriko was counted on to score goals for some terrible Canucks teams in the mid-80s. And score he did. Skriko had four straight 30 goal seasons. Fun fact: Skriko was traded away during the 1990-91 season to Boston for a 2nd round draft pick that turned into Mike Peca, who later turned into Alex Mogilny.
Honourable mention: Trent Klatt, Mikael Samuelsson
Funny mention: Tommi Santala
A tough as nails defensive defenceman, Harold Snepsts was a fan favourite and a member of the Canucks Ring of Honour. Snepsts is 6th all-time in games played and 4th in penalty minutes. But of course he ranks number one all-time in mustaches.
Honourable mention: Sergio Momesso, Manny Malhotra
Funny mention: Leif Rohlin
A sentimental choice, Bourdon is likely to be the last person to wear #28 as he died tragically in a motorcycle accident while still a member of the team. We will never know how good he could be, but Bourdon would have probably been an impact player on the 2011 Stanley Cup finalist team had tragedy not struck.
Honourable mention: Marc Crawford
Funny mention: Roman Oksiuta
Facepalm mention: Rick Vaive (the Canucks were fond of trading young future 50 goal scorers in the 1980s)
The all-time leader in penalty minutes and one of the most popular players in franchise history, Gino’s illness has nothing to do with his spot at #29. In 1993-94, he proved that he could be more than just an enforcer when he scored 16 goals (more than Murray Craven, Sergio Momesso and Greg Adams that year!).
Honourable mention: Jiri Bubla
Funny mention: Felix Potvin
I’m going to be honest, Cesare Maniago or Frank Caprice probably deserve this spot but Gary Bromley gets this nod because he had one of the most bad ass goalie masks in NHL history.
Honourable mention: Cesare Maniago, Frank Caprice, Garth Snow
Funny mention: Martin Brochu
Dunc Wilson is 6th all-time in games played by a Canucks goalie and had the unfortunate job of backstopping the Canucks through their expansion era. Maybe I should have given #31 to back-up Bob Essensa or the colourful John Garrett (I could have come up with some great stories about Garrett), but forget that! Dunc Wilson had to stare down Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito and Bobby Hull in their prime behind a garbage defence. I feel bad for him and you should too.
Honourable mention: Corey Hirsch, John Garrett, Eddie Lack, Bob Essensa
Funny mention: Mika Noronen
Stay tuned for some bonus numbers (32-99) next week!
Feature image: canucks.nhl.com