11 best 'one-hit wonders' in Vancouver Canucks history

Apr 15 2020, 1:53 pm

The Vancouver Canucks paid tribute to a number of players and moments during their 50th anniversary season.

But one group fell through the cracks. What about the one-hit wonders?

Here’s a look at the best players in franchise history who appeared in no more than one season with the Canucks, excluding players on the current team.

11. Brian Glynn (1993-94)

More than half of Brian Glynn’s tenure as a Vancouver Canuck was spent in the playoffs, during the team’s run to the 1994 Stanley Cup Final. Glynn was a smart waiver wire pickup by Pat Quinn, and the 6-foot-4 defenceman came in handy during the playoffs, taking over as Jyrki Lumme’s partner after Dana Murzyn was lost due to injury.

10. Mike Santorelli (2013-14)

John Tortorella’s lone season behind the Canucks’ bench got off to a great start, in part due to the exceptional play of newcomer Mike Santorelli. At the time of his season-ending injury in January 2014, only the Sedins and Ryan Kesler had more points. The Vancouver native scored 28 points in 49 games that season.

9. Bob Essensa (2000-01)

Bob Essensa became a fan favourite during his lone season in Vancouver in 2000-01. Fans regularly serenaded “Backup Bob” by chanting his name regularly.

Essensa outplayed Felix Potvin, stealing starts before Potvin was moved out and Dan Cloutier was brought in. Essensa finished with an .892 save percentage in 39 games, but had a winning record (18-12-3), helping the Canucks get back into the playoffs for the first time in five years.

8. Charlie Hodge (1970-71)

The expansion Vancouver Canucks made the unusual decision to carry three goaltenders in 1970-71, and Charlie Hodge was easily their best. A two-time Vezina Trophy winner, Hodge backstopped the Canucks to their first-ever win on October 11, 1970.

Vancouver was the final stop in his NHL career, compiling a winning record of 15-13-5, which was far superior to the 9-33-3 combined record of the Canucks’ other two goalies.

7. Nick Bonino (2014-15)

One of the pieces acquired in the Ryan Kesler trade, Nick Bonino scored 39 points in 75 games, centring the Canucks’ second line. He helped the Canucks get into the playoffs that season, adding three points in six postseason games.

6. Thomas Vanek (2017-18)

Veteran sniper Thomas Vanek was a prolific scorer for the Canucks in 2017-18, scoring 17 goals and 41 points in 61 games before being traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

5. Anatoli Semenov (1992-93)

Russian centre Anatoli Semenov racked up 44 points in 62 regular games after being acquired by the Canucks in November 1992. He added four points in 12 games in the 1993 playoffs.

4. Arturs Irbe (1997-98)

Arturs Irbe was one of the few bright lights during the 1997-98 season, backstopping the Canucks in 41 games during the first year of the Mark Messier era. Playing behind a dreadful defensive team, Irbe finished 13th among NHL starting netminders in save percentage (.907).

3. Mats Sundin (2008-09)

Hall of Fame centre Mats Sundin was out of shape after taking the first half of the season off when he arrived in Vancouver. But Sundin managed to score 28 points in 41 regular season games, not to mention a memorable shootout winner against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Sundin’s value was truly felt in the playoffs, scoring eight points in eight games for the Canucks.

2. Raffi Torres (2010-11)

One of the most feared bodycheckers in the NHL, Raffi Torres brought a different dimension to the Canucks in 2010-11. Torres scored 29 points in 80 regular season games, then added seven points in 23 playoff games — including a last-minute game-winning goal in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

1. Anson Carter (2005-06)

Playing the entire season with Henrik and Daniel Sedin, appropriately enough, Anson Carter scored a team-high 33 goals and added 22 assists for the Canucks in 2005-06. His goal total was a career-high, but his career quickly flamed out after that.

Carter pursued a lucrative free agent deal in the offseason, but wound up scoring just 11 goals in 2006-07 with Columbus and Carolina in what turned out to be his final NHL season.