There are a lot of former Canucks on Team Canada’s Olympic roster

Team Canada announced its Spengler Cup roster today for the Winter Olympics that are set to begin next month in PeyongChang, South Korea. Since NHL players aren’t allowed to play in the tournament, the roster is, uh, predictably loaded with names you wouldn’t expect to see representing Canada on the biggest stage.

But here we are! Canada’s roster is loaded with former Canucks, as Maxime Lapierre, Mason Raymond, Linden Vey, Derek Roy, Marc-Andre Gragnani, and Andrew Ebbett cracked the team.

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Raymond is clearly the most memorable former Canucks on the roster. Raymond was once a very solid player, recording 25 goals in 2009-10 before his career got derailed by injuries. He and Lapierre, who was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks at the trade deadline in 2011, were a part of Vancouver’s run to the Stanley Cup Final.

Gragnani only played 14 games with the Canucks in 2011-12, Ebbett, from Vernon, BC, played 46 games between 2011-13, and Roy played 12 games in 2013 after his glory days in Buffalo. Linden Vey was acquired from the L.A. Kings in 2014 and played 116 games with the Canucks.

    • Canuck4Life20

      There’s also another connection as Quinton Howden was the player picked with the Canucks first round pick in the horrible Keith Ballard trade that played a part in cost the Canucks the Cup.

      • The horrible Keith Ballard trade in which the Panthers got a handful of games from Howden and zero games from Grabner.

        Ballard struggled in his time with the Canucks, but the Panthers *did not* do well in this deal at all.

        • Canuck4Life20

          I don’t care how the Panthers made out. This deal was a direct result of Gillis’ decision not to re-sign Willie Mitchell. If we had Mitchell instead of Ballard on the team it would have made a big difference.

          • Context is important: Mitchell was coming off a serious concussion and it was unclear whether he would ever play again. Ballard was coming off of several years of very strong play as one of Florida’s top defencemen.

            Judged in hindsight, it was a bad trade, for both teams. Judged based on the information available at the time, it was a good move. Ballard’s injury troubles and poor fit with Vigneault’s system were not information available to management at the time.

            I’ve noticed that the people who continue to bring up the Ballard trade years later as some kind of paradigmatic example of how terrible Gillis was are often the same people who defend the Gudbranson trade, even though Vancouver gave up a very similar package to get him (a former first-round prospect with strong potential and a low 1st/high 2nd pick) for a player who, by every conceivable metric, was inferior in his time in Florida.

          • And the idea that this trade cost the Canucks the cup is laughable. The Canucks didn’t lose because Grabner wasn’t playing ten minutes a night on their fourth line (which is where he would have been playing, if he played in the NHL at all, on the Canucks that year – Grabner got a chance to play because he went to an organization with much less depth). They lost because their top three centres were all playing through serious injuries, their top defenceman was out with an injury, one of their top wingers was out with an injury, and one off their depth defenders was suspended.

            It’s find to play hindsight and say “if the Canucks hadn’t traded for Ballard, had-resigned Mitchell to a 3×3 deal, and got Malhotra to wear a visor, they would have won the cup!”. They didn’t know Mitchell would recover, they didn’t know Ballard would get injured and wouldn’t fit with Vigneault, they didn’t know Malhotra would suffer a freak eye accident. If ifs and buts were candy and nuts and all that. You try to make the best decisions with the information available to you at the time.

          • No CA Mod

            Agreed.Context is important.
            Ballard’s play was regressing in Florida and Keith required hip surgery.
            Still,Gillis traded for him.His career was a series of injuries thereafter.
            Tallon dumped salary and picked up three Canucks assets.
            Booth was similar to Willie Mitchell in regards to their concussion histories.
            Booth suffered at least three serious concussions as a Panther,two in which he lost conciousness.
            He became injury prone and his game seriously trailed off when Tallon traded him to Gillis.
            Same outcome for Tallon as he shed two seriously injured,regressing players and their salaries.

        • Bud Poile

          Just because Howden was chosen by Florida with Vancouver’s first round pick doesn’t detract from this trade.
          Florida *could have drafted*one of dozens chosen after Howden that had decent NHL careers.
          Gillis gave up a second first-round Vancouver pick in Grabner whom had 42 pts for the NYR last season.He has played eight NHL seasons since Gillis dumped him.
          Not to be lost in this Gillis tragedy is the loss of Steve Bernier-another first rounder- who went on to play another seven NHL seasons.
          Then there was the buyout of his $4.2m US salary by that legendary contract negotiator legend GMMG.
          Three first rounders and $6M CAD for 2.5 years and the buyout-all within the Canucks Stanley Cup windo.
          Up next-the David Booth DISASTER.
          Gillis nails shut our Stanley Cup window.
          Take a bow you Gillis ass lickers.

          • TheRealPB

            Ballard was a 26 year old mobile defenseman who could hit — a pretty decent acquisition for two late 1sts and Bernier who never really did much with Vancouver. But he never really gained Vigneault’s trust — as much as I liked AV he really played favorites (Rome for example) and just never seemed to fit. I’m not sure we could have done much better with any of Bernier, Howden or Grabner — what we needed was more D help. Ballard just wasn’t it. But it’s easy to make these kind of judgement calls in hindsight. Much as I don’t agree with the anti-Benning diatribes on here, I think going after Gillis in similar fashion is also pointless. He did a lot of really good things but made mistakes as well and some bets just don’t work out, like Vey, Eriksson, Gudbranson, for three.

          • Bud Poile

            Booth’s $12.75m contract Florida dumped on Gillis was the coup d’etat.
            The Derek Roy debacle closed the door until he lost both starting goaltenders to seal his fate.
            That was two injury-plagued players Gillis traded for to take Vancouver into playoff contention but was taken to the cleaners,instead.

          • truthseeker

            So GM’s should all be judged on all the players they “could have” taken but didn’t?

            What a f…king stupid comment. And you…of all people, using the exact same stupid f..king logic that the benning haters use against you in their posts. lol.

            You’re all a bunch of f..king idiots.

          • Bud Poile

            The average NHL GM age is 57,not 27 or 37.
            Hindsight becomes foresight for the experienced.
            Tallon hosed Gillis repeatedly.
            Tallon still NHL GM employed,Gillis a soon to be forgotten footnote.
            Oh,and Freudo,weren’t you asked to leave the island?

          • Dirty30

            You need to get some serious psychiatric help.

            Meanwhile … Steve ‘stone cold hands’ Bernier couldn’t score on an empty net with the Sedins — one of the few players in history not playing with a seeing-eye dog that couldn’t score a goal with two of the best players in the NHL!

            And what has he accomplished since?

            Gabner didn’t do much in Vancouver and even less in Florida — he suddenly blossomed in NY but so what? He may still have underachieved in Vancouver.

            You’re simply an obsessive nutcase that needs help. Its not just that most of the time you’re wrong about facts and wrong about players and wrong about history, but your muliple-posting personalities and hysterics are tiresome and simply indicative of a sick mind. Get help. Whatever it looks like, just get some help.

            I beseech the mods to ban you just for your own mental health. Go outside (if you’re not already locked up somewhere) and see the beauty in the world. It might give you sime perspective to deal with your Mike Gillis OCD.

          • Freud

            Bud’s reply is another rambling response that has nothing to do with the topic at hand. Then he ends it with some dotard type, incoherent question about an island?

        • Nuck16

          That was a terrible pick by Florida, doesn’t mean that 1st rounder was worthless…and Grabner went on to win the calder with 40 goals the same season. Just because Florida squandered the spoils, doesn’t make that horrible trade forgivable.

    • Dude. Raymond was great with the Canucks until he had his back broken. Roy in his prime was a fantastic player. Max LaPierre was an important depth option for the Canucks for years. These are players who are no longer in the NHL due to age and injuries, not because they weren’t legit NHLers in their day.

      Ebbett, Vey, and Gragnani are career tweeners, though.

  • TheRealPB

    It’s easy to hate on all these players but they are each and every one of them deserving of the honor — Roy has played more than 700 NHL games, Lapierre more than 600, even Raymond nearly 550 despite those serious injuries. Sure it’s a quirk of the NHL-Olympic rivalry that they won’t be icing the superstars but that shouldn’t detract from these players and their accomplishments. I don’t mean this comment in response to the article but to the comments section here and elsewhere where there are some really mean-spirited things being spouted. Honestly, I’m way more inclined to cheer for a team like this than the usual Olympic superstar lineups we’ve seen of late.

  • sloth

    I might be alone in this, but I always liked the way Andrew Ebbett plays and thought he didn’t get a fair shake in the NHL. I was disappointed when they let him walk but that was a different era.

    Vey is 3rd in KHL scoring right now, and his linemate Nigel Dawes is leading the league in goals, but can’t play for Canada because he acquired Kazakhstani citizenship and plays for Kazakhstan internationally now.

    Also noticed Philip Larsen leads the KHL in points by defensemen. Sergei Shirokov is 9th in league scoring, while Nicklas Jensen is just outside the top 30, with 32 pts in 46 games.

    I wonder if Alexander Sulzer will get the call for Germany..