As TSN embarks on breaking down the best all-time roster for Canadian clubs, we thought it would be a good chance to take a look at the roster they put together on the Vancouver Canucks.
First and foremost, as it’s surely going to cause lots of confusion on the roster itself, there are some fairly strict criteria that TSN used. Let’s take a look at it:
TSN All-Time Team Eligibility Criteria
□ Team: two goalies, six defencemen, 12 forwards and one foundational player
□ Members must have played at least 225 games with the Canucks
□ At least one member of the all-time team must be from the 2019-20 Canucks
□ Players are slotted in positions they played with the Canucks
□ One line must be comprised of defensive standouts, aka a checking line
□ One pair must be comprised of suffocating defenders, aka a shutdown pair
□ Lines and pairs are put together because they fit together, not because they are necessarily the first, second and third best at their positions
□ Foundational players are defined as players part of the fabric – the DNA – of a franchise
□ Last cuts by position are exactly as advertised, the players who just missed selection to the all-time team
The choices surely change the way that the roster is able to be shaped, and here’s the group that TSN came up with.
In net, the choices were clear. Roberto Luongo was a rock for the Canucks for a long time and is clearly the best goaltender the club ever had. Much like Luongo, Kirk McLean was a rock for the Canucks for a long time as the teams all-time leader in playoff wins.
On the backend, it’s clear that the Canucks have never really had any big names. Mattias Ohlund and Doug Lidster make up the top pairing as players who tallied 300+ points with the Canucks. The second pairing sees Jyrki Lumme and Sami Salo.
Salo helped patrol the Canucks blue line for 566 games in the 2000’s and into the 2010’s while Lumme was a staple all through the 90’s. Alex Edler and Kevin Bieksa, meanwhile, are some of the most infamous names over the last decade. Edler leads all Canucks rearguard in games, goals, assists and points, as Bieksa was known for his shutdown ability.
The forward group was a near no-brainer with one potential large exception. The top six of Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Pavel Bure, Markus Naslund, Trevor Linden and Todd Bertuzzi. They were all some of the biggest pieces to play in the Vancouver forward ranks in their respective times.
The bottom-six features Geoff Courtnall, Thomas Grandin, Tony Tanti, Alex Burrows, Ryan Kesler and Stan Smyl — another really solid group of players in their own rights.
The team’s foundational player was Orland Kurtenbach, the team’s first captain in history who played for Vancouver for four years before retiring. He was a part of the Canucks of the Western Hockey League prior to being drafted by Vancouver.
TSN shared their last cuts as G Richard Brodeur, defencemen Ed Jovanovski and forwards Greg Adams, Cliff Ronning and Alex Mogilny.
Do you think any of those five should’ve edged out anyone on the roster? Let me know below.
If you want to read up more on the roster and TSN’s choices, you can read about it here.
On Twitter: @zjlaing