Here is the third and final part of my rebuttal to the official “Who Wore it Best” done by the Canucks official website.
I decided that a rebuttal was needed because the topic of Canucks history and jersey numbers are near and dear to my heart and I wasn’t about to let them snub Doug Lidster, as they did on August 3. Since then, Donald Brashear was chosen, causing a mini-revolt on Twitter.
— Dog Days Cooop (@THECooop) August 11, 2014
Ok, I might have been a little bit cavalier with my use of the word “revolt”.
In the interest of not boring you to death, I won’t feature every number from 32-99. Instead lets just take a look at the prominent/interesting ones.
Murray Craven had a short stay in Vancouver (just 88 games in 1992-93 and 1993-94), but his impact was significant, scoring 65 regular season points with the Canucks. But it was his play in the playoffs that most fans will remember. He had 10 points in 12 games during the 1993 playoffs and 13 points in 22 games during the team’s run to the Stanley Cup Final in 1994.
Honourable Mention: Arturs Irbe
Funny Mention: Dean Malkoc
Arguably the best player in franchise history, this decision didn’t keep me up at night. Henrik is 1st all-time in franchise points and assists during the regular season and trails only Trevor Linden for points in the playoffs. Barring injury or a trade, he and/or his brother will likely hold every significant offensive franchise record.
Honourable Mention: Mike Peca
Funny Mention: Alfie Michaud
‘King Richard’ Brodeur thrilled fans in 1982 when he carried an underdog Canucks team to the Stanley Cup Final. He is 3rd in both wins and games played among Canucks goaltenders.
Honourable Mention: Cory Schneider
Funny Mention: Troy Gamble
There aren’t many players to choose from as we get into the higher numbers, as Jannik Hansen is the clear choice at #36. Hansen has been a real important role player for Vancouver in the last few years. He was 5th among Canucks forwards in scoring during the 2011 Stanley Cup run (trailing only the Sedins, Kesler and Burrows).
Honourable Mention: Josh Green… I guess
Funny Mention: Ryan Bonni
Part of the reason I’m writing this article is because a good friend of mine demanded to see his all-time favourite player featured at #37. Ruutu was the ultimate super pest, scoring 10 goals and 142 penalty minutes during his best season in Vancouver in 2005-06. So here you go Al, Jarkko Ruutu.
Honourable Mention: Rick Rypien
Funny Mention: Brandon Reid (not really funny I know, but only three players have worn #37 in Canucks history)
Much maligned during his final season in Vancouver, the late Pavol Demitra put up better numbers than you probably remember. The skilled Slovakian had 69 points in 97 regular season games.
Honourable Mention: Jan Bulis
Funny Mention: Victor Oreskovich
He is often remembered for that goal, but Cloutier had some good years in Vancouver. Cloutier had three straight 30 win seasons while backstopping some good run-and-gun Canucks teams in the early 2000s.
Honourable Mention: Cody Hodgson (he wore 39 before he switched to 9 and became a diva)
Funny Mention: Enrico Ciccone
Not a whole lot of competition for this number, but Max Lapierre will always hold a special place in my heart because of his strong play in the Canucks 2011 Stanley Cup run. His game winning goal in game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final would hold a much higher place in Canucks folklore if they managed to win game 6 or 7. I’m going to go cry now…
Honourable Mention: Michael Grabner
Funny Mention: Mike Zalewski
Mention the name Kyle Wellwood to a Canucks fan and you’re sure to bring a smile to his/her face. His conditioning, effort and intensity were questioned at times but somehow the undersized skilled centre managed to become a fan favourite in Vancouver. Maybe it’s because Wellwood managed to be at his best in the playoffs where he had 13 points in 22 games.
Honourable Mention: Josef Beranek
Funny Mention: Also Kyle Wellwood, what a character
He is remembered for the incident, but we should remember him for the good times too. Like the song “It’s Called the Todd Bertuzzi”. Big Bert is 9th all-time in scoring and was a key member of the Canucks for 518 games. His two seasons in 2002-03 and 2003-04 are two of the most impressive seasons put together in Canucks history. His 46 goal, 97 point season in 2002-03 ranks as the best offensive season by a Canadian in Canucks history.
Honourable Mention: Dave Babych
Funny Mention: Nolan Baumgartner
‘Jovo Cop’ personified the Canucks teams during the Marc Crawford era. He was young, talented, tough, emotional, inconsistent and most of all, exciting.
Honourable Mention: Shane O’Brien
Funny Mention: Shane O’Brien… You’re still smiling about the honourable mention, aren’t you?
There aren’t many players to choose from in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, so here are some quick hits:
With a goal and an assist in only three career NHL games, Lee Sweatt’s career points-per-game average is sparkling. I will always remember his only NHL goal, a game winner in 2010-11.
Carter scored 33 goals in his only season in Vancouver, and I think every single one of them was assisted by Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
Fedor was punched out by Kevin Bieksa (once) more than he scored in the NHL (zero).
The only player not named Bure in franchise history to score 50 goals, Mogilny had 308 points in 312 career games with Vancouver.
In what seemed like a good idea at the time, in 1995 Pavel Bure switched from his familiar #10 to #96 (high numbers were all the rage in the 90s). After two injury-plagued seasons, Bure switched back to #10 in 1997-98, stayed healthy and scored 50 goals.
Feature Image: canucks.nhl.com