The Canucks Ring of Honour currently includes Orland Kurtenbach, Kirk McLean, Thomas Gradin, Harold Snepsts and Pat Quinn. I think there’s room for one more.
The Ring of Honour was a nice initiative started by the Canucks during their 40th anniversary season in 2010-11. It was a great way to honour players that didn’t necessarily have jersey retirement caliber numbers, but deserved recognition nonetheless.
The criteria for getting in the Ring of Honour is very open-ended. Kirk McLean and Thomas Gradin are arguably two of the best Canucks to not have their jerseys retired, so they were obvious choices. Orland Kurtenbach was the first captain of the Canucks, but really doesn’t have much else to warrant ROH consideration. Harold Snepsts was one of the most popular players in Canucks history, despite not being a star player. Pat Quinn had a combo platter of criteria, given that he was a player, coach, general manager and president of the team.
The ROH is clearly part resume and part popularity contest, so I decided to ask Canucks fans on Twitter who they would include. The answers I got were uhhh interesting:
@RobTheHockeyGuy Lonny Bohonos.
— Lee Powell (@leepowellST) July 28, 2014
Thanks guys. Any real suggestions?
Send your hate mail to Ryan Biech… Ok anybody?
@RobTheHockeyGuy : Brad Leeb…
— Cory (@nine30shineshop) July 28, 2014
Ok, it looks like I’m going to have to compile this list myself. For the purposes of this list, we will only consider players whose playing careers are over. That way we can save the Todd Bertuzzi debate for another day.
With likely only weeks or months left to live, I think it would be a great gesture to induct Gino Odjick into the Ring of Honour on opening night against the Edmonton Oilers on October 11. Picking Gino would clearly be a sentimental choice, but he meets many of the requirements even if he were at full health. Gino is 29th all-time in franchise games played, ahead of players like Pavel Bure, Cliff Ronning and Ed Jovanovski. And of course he is the franchise leader in penalty minutes.
@RobTheHockeyGuy Gino, I can’t believe I agree with Dave Pratt.
— My Friend Jeff (@JHayden63) July 28, 2014
But Gino was more than a dime a dozen enforcer. He scored 16 goals in a season once and scored 3 goals in a playoff series in 1996. But above all, Gino deserves consideration for his work in the community, particularly with First Nations children. He is a player that clearly feels a strong tie to the Canucks (as evidenced by his letter to Canucks fans last month) and there is perhaps no person who would get more joy over an honour like this as Gino Odjick.
Cliff Ronning ranks 17th in career regular season points and 6th in playoff points. Although Ronning’s time in Vancouver was shorter than some other prominent names, his production was outstanding. He averaged 0.90 points per game in his Canucks career and was a big reason the Canucks rose to prominence in the 1990s. They made the playoffs in six straight seasons after he joined the team and missed the playoffs in four straight after he left.
Another member of the good Canucks teams of the 90s, Jyrki Lumme is arguably the greatest defenceman in franchise history.
@RobTheHockeyGuy Lumme ! Gallagher started that train.
— Dillon Brar (@dillonbrar) July 28, 2014
Tony Gallagher had an excellent piece advocating his inclusion and I certainly agree. Among defencemen, he is second in franchise points during the regular season and ranks first in the playoffs.
@RobTheHockeyGuy They should save it for Ohlund (not technically retired yet)
— Steve May (@Steve_May) July 28, 2014
While Mattias Ohlund’s technically hasn’t retired from the NHL, his playing career is certainly over. Among defencemen, Ohlund is second in games played, first in regular season points and second in playoff points. Ohlund didn’t put up the same kind of high point seasons that Jyrki Lumme did, but he was more of a complete defenceman. Ohlund put up points during a very defensive era and could deliver bone-crushing hits while playing against the other team’s top line. In either case, Ohlund and Lumme are certainly more deserving of a spot in the ROH than fan favourite Harold Snepsts.
Tony Tanti is the best player in Canucks history that you never hear anything about.
@RobTheHockeyGuy as much as I’d like to see Gino get the honour, it has to be Tanti. Scoring 38-45 goals on those teams is astounding.
— Brandon O’Connor (@BooferOC) July 28, 2014
He played in perhaps the worst era in Canucks history, joining the team just after the 1982 Stanley Cup run and leaving a year before Pavel Bure joined the team in 1991. Tanti was a goal scorer and his numbers prove as much. Tanti averaged 40 goals a season over a five year span and ranks 6th all-time in franchise goals.
@RobTheHockeyGuy king Richard Brodeur!
— Barry Luka (@BarryLuka) July 28, 2014
‘King Richard’ gets on this list primarily because of his play in the 1982 Stanley Cup playoffs when he put the Canucks on his back and carried them to the Stanley Cup Final. He played during the high scoring 80s in front of mostly horrendous teams, so to harp on his goals against average and save percentage might be a little bit unfair. Brodeur ranks third in games played and wins among Canucks goaltenders.
Here are some honourable mentions I received from Twitter:
@RobTheHockeyGuy Tommy Larsheid!
— Mack McCorkindale (@mackmcc) July 28, 2014
I like this one a lot. Larscheid has been estranged from the Canucks in recent years since being allegedly pushed of his job by Canucks management. If being a player isn’t a prerequisite to get into the Ring of Honour, then Larscheid is a slam dunk.
@RobTheHockeyGuy Mike Gillis.
— Shapsquatch (@Shapsquatch) July 28, 2014
Well he is the “best general manager in franchise history” according to blogging superstar Thomas Drance.
@RobTheHockeyGuy my dads a huge don lever fan. how about him?
— Matt Baker (@BakesTakes84) July 28, 2014
Matt’s dad may be onto something. Lever played for the Canucks in the 70s and still ranks 10th all-time in franchise points.
@RobTheHockeyGuy Nathan Lafayette? Lol to be serious Geoff Courtnall
— Rob S (@RSin78) July 28, 2014
Geoff Courtnall is one of the best big game goal scorers the Canucks ever had. He is 6th all-time in regular season overtime goals and 3rd in playoff goals, trailing only Trevor Linden and Pavel Bure.
— guy (@Folks14) July 29, 2014
Anything else from Twitter?
— phil verret (@BasketballPhil) July 28, 2014
Ok that’s enough.
“I’m big and I’m country”.
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