West Coast Express line of Naslund, Bertuzzi and Morrison to be honoured at Rogers Arena next week

Thomas Drance
November 30 2015 11:37AM

Courtesy: Canucks.com

After Pavel Bure left in a huff and before the Sedin twins rose to prominence, the West Coast Express line captured the imagination of left coast hockey fans.

Though the West Coast Express-era Canucks never achieved a level of playoff success to match their artistry and dominance in the regular season, and were involved in perhaps the darkest chapter in Vancouver Canucks history, they're still remembered fondly in the lower mainland. And next Monday they'll be honoured at Rogers Arena when the Canucks host the Buffalo Sabres. 

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Alain Vigneault is the ultimate Canucks fan: criticizes referees, bashes Marchand and still isn't over 2011

Thomas Drance
November 28 2015 11:23AM

Photo Credit: Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault, formerly the best and most successful coach in Vancouver Canucks franchise history bar none, doesn't seem to have completely exorcised the ghosts from the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. 

In the wake of his team's controversial loss in Boston on Friday afternoon, the Rangers bench boss has invoked the memory of 2011 often and unintentionally. He's also been critical of the NHL's officiating  standards and the Department of Player Safety. And he's taken some amusing shots at Brad 'persona non grata' Marchand. The evidence is mounting that perhaps Vigneault is still a Canuck at heart.

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Forbes values Canucks at $745 million; 6th among NHL franchises in 2015

Thomas Drance
November 24 2015 10:01AM

Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

The value of the Vancouver Canucks franchise has, like the value of most professional sporting properties, exploded over the past decade. 

The Canucks' current ownership, the Aquilini Investment Group, purchased the club for an undisclosed sum from John McCaw back in 2005. It was later revealed during legal proceedings between Tom Gagliardi, Ryan Beedie and Francesco Aquilini that the purchase was for somewhere in the neighbourhood of $250 million.

That investment has paid off in spades. Though the Canucks' performance in Forbes' annual franchise valuations has flat-lined somewhat over the past three years (after growing exponentially for much of the past decade), Forbes' latest valuation of the franchise would suggest that the Aquilini Investment Group has essentially tripled their money in 10 years. And that's a very, very conservative estimate.

On Tuesday Forbes unveiled their 2015 NHL team valuations and the Canucks were valued at $745 million, making them the sixth most valuable team in hockey. Click past the jump for more.

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Remembering Pat Quinn on the 1-year anniversary of his death

Thomas Drance
November 23 2015 11:24AM

Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

Editor's Note: The following is a guest piece from historian and friend of the blog, Mike Commito. About a year ago Committo wrote a biography about Pat Quinn for the Canadian encyclopedia, and as part of the project he touched base with a handful of key people close to the late head coach and general manager, including: George McPhee, Brian Burke and Trevor Linden.

As Mike explains it, there were some quotes he didn't get to use because of a strict word count, and he was hoping to revisit Quinn's memory anyway on the one-year anniversary of his passing. We're happy to give him a place to do that.

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Schneider, Devils defeat Canucks 3-2

Thomas Drance
November 22 2015 11:03PM

Photo Credit: Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports

The second meeting of the season between the Vancouver Canucks and the New Jersey Devils on Sunday night lacked the drama, the controversial hits, and the accusations of inappropriate trash talk that punctuated the first contest. If you were expecting hostilities to carry over from the first game, you were sorely disappointed. The closest this team got to any heat or shenanigans was when Bobby Farnham dove and drew a silly penalty on Derek Dorsett early in the game. 

Ultimately the Devils were the more rested team and the better side for 40 minutes, Cory Schneider out-duelled Jacob Markstrom and the Canucks squandered too many glorious opportunities in a 3-2 loss. 

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