Welcome back to another edition of WWYDW! Again, we hope all of our readers are staying safe and healthy out there.
Thus far, the response to our series of speculative history hypotheticals has been fantastic, so we’re back for another round today.
This time, we’re looking at the Vancouver Canucks’ history – and specifically, what you would change about it if you had the ability.
These are the rules: You have a time machine, and can slip back into the timestream to undo one single Canucks draft pick and replace them with a player of your choice. Obviously, the player you choose would have had to available at the time of the Canucks’ pick – we’re only breaking the laws of time and space here, not the rules and regulations of the National Hockey League.
Once again, this week we are asking:
What would you do if you could redo any draft pick in Canucks history?
Last week, we asked:
If you could insert any former Vancouver Canuck onto the current roster, who would you choose and why?
Your responses are below!
Probably Hamhuis. Yes, Ohlund was better and KB had more “grit,” but Hamhuis was one of the best defenders the team ever had and that’s what this team needs. That ultra-stable guy that locks down a game with smart plays in his own end when the pressure is high.
Bure as my forward pick and Reinhart on defense.
Honestly, it has to be Bure on right wing with EP. Speed alone would be deadly. On defense, it would have to be Juice. He brings an attitude that no Canucks D-man has.
Also thought about Willie Mitchell. He helped the Kings to 2 cups, while the Canucks traded for Ballard. Ew.
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
As far as former forwards are concerned, Bure – a natural selection, it would be amazing to see his blazing speed in today’s NHL without the clutch and grab he had to endure throughout his career. I would also consider Naslund – was there a better player at finding seams, holes and soft spots in coverage before unleashing a devastating wrist shot? And finally, Martin Gelinas – he was on a tear the year that he hurt his knee and was hurried back, only to be traded as he was a shadow of his former self (likely because he was still hurt).
As for defensemen, Ohlund (pre-eye injury) would be my choice – he was as physical and tough as anyone, with a surprisingly offensive touch. Reinhart was good while here. If he was pre-back injury, he would be a shade behind Ohlund in my book.
As for current players – I think Baertchi is better than more than a few current roster players and would team up well with Gaudette and someone like Leivo or Ferland. And for current defenseman – Tryamkin seems an obvious choice, I would like to see the Canucks with not one, but two super tall defensemen next year.
Lotto Line Forever:
To echo some other posters, Bure with EP would be dynamite. Just imagining Pete throwing a pass off the end boards and Bure speeds in, picks it up, and dekes the goalie…
I’d also want to have a prime Willie Mitchell manning the blueline, though. Pair him with Hughes while Edler and Tanev take the other top-four D pair duties. Stecher and Benn is solid enough for the third. Willie’s strong, defensive minded, and clears the crease, either with a good poke-check or hit. Myers, in contrast, is tall but not physical enough. If we’re going to win, we need someone who’s responsible in their own end.
North Van Halen:
Alex Mogilny who could not only score like Bure but actually knew where his own end was.
I’m going to go off the board and suggest Bertuzzi would look great on a line with EP. 44 was frustrating to watch at times, but he’d be awesome with him in the playoffs.
Ryan Kesler was one of the most fierce Canucks and played with emotion, never wanting to do anything except win. He would give the team a chance to win the Cup.
liqueur des fenetres:
Bure was a bona fide world class talent and an obvious slam dunk to play with Petey. As Ds go, I liked Jovocop because he could join the rush and was tough as nails. This is all highly arbitrary, but there are a lot of interesting observations made by commentators as per this article. Fun stuff.
(Winner of the author’s occasional award for courting controversy)
Have to get this in before anyone else, Mark Messier. Hear me out, was he a terrible Canuck? Yes, but was he also one of the greatest leaders to ever play the game? Also yes. Since we get to include some time travel, let’s take the Messier right after Wayne left Edmonton and stick him in the current lineup. It would hurt too much as a Canucks fan to say Stanley Cup finals 94 Moose.
For a Dman, let’s get real crazy and add alternate reality Sami Salo. This Salo didn’t have a deck dropped on him or get bitten by the only poisonous snake found in Sweden or Finland, cannot remember which. Also, this Salo gets into at least 75 games a season. Solid two-way guy with an absolute weapon of a shot from the point.
If it must be players from their time with the Canucks, my two picks are Todd Bertuzzi and Willie Mitchell, I think both could help this current team and fit well with what is already there.
Certainly Pavel Bure in his prime. His combination of speed, hands a “don’t mess with me” attitude would be an asset to this team.
I wouldn’t say Pavel was the best Canuck ever in the sense of other intangibles, that goes to Henrik, Linden, Smyl, and the like – but Bure is pure skill and a force to be reckoned with. Most defensemen couldn’t touch him in the ’90s, and they still couldn’t touch him now even though most have become more mobile and skilled.
If you put Bure with Horvat and Petey on his current line with Miller, the other teams wouldn’t know who to defend and we could see big points for both players.
That would be really awesome.
If I were to go with a player still in the league, that may be a bit tougher…Jared McCann is my choice. I’m not sure where he would play, but he seems to be playing well and may be the best ex-Canucks still in the league.
To be honest I don’t think there are any active ex-Canucks that would really make this team better.
Gino’s 3rd Cousin:
If I was looking for pure entertainment and speed, it would be Pavel Bure (when he wore number 10) hands down. I think he would have the hockey sense to build chemistry with EP and their combined speed would leave opposing teams on Bambi legs most nights. It would also be nice to have Gino riding shotgun as well to provide some old school protection. Pavel and Gino could also show Petey how to live. On the defensive side of things, it’s a tossup between pre-injury Ohlund and prime Jovocop, but I lean towards Jovanovski for the nastiness he would provide come playoff time, coupled with decent offensive instincts.
Does it have to be a single former Canuck? Because I would love to have two former recently retired Canucks out of the rafters and back into the lineup…
So many great players who could help now. Bure, Mogilny, Sedins, Linden, Naslund, Hamhuis, Mitchell. But the more I think about it, the more I am leaning toward Todd Bertuzzi. No player in Canuck history could do what he did. He was huge, he played nasty, he could skate, he was not afraid to go to the dirty areas, he could fight, and he could put the puck in the net. Prime Bertuzzi would not only thrive, but dominate in today’s Western Conference and he would bring an element that this team is sorely lacking.
I am Ted:
Ok, so my obvious one would be Bure in his prime. Lots are all over that one and with good reason. However, if I want to go a bit outside the box…I’d take Messier in his prime. I do not like the guy, but I am sure I’d love him if we had him here in his prime right now.
Others I considered in their prime: Mogilny, Bertuzzi, and the Sedins.