The best Vancouver Canucks to use in a game of ‘Puckdoku’

Photo credit:theprovince.com
Stephan Roget
10 months ago
Folks, we like to think that we respect a diversity of hockey opinions and experiences here. No two fans intake the game in the exact same way, and that’s perfectly alright. Not everything is for everyone.
That being said…
…If you’re a hockey fan online in the year 2023, and you haven’t at least tried out a game of Puckdoku, you are quite simply missing out. There hasn’t been a more engaging and addictive internet game since Wordle, and there hasn’t been a more engaging and addictive hockey-related internet game since ever.
For those who have no idea what we’re talking about, just go play it now!
For those who prefer a text-based explanation, we’ll do our best.
Puckdoku, as the name suggests, is part-sudoku. But it’s also got a good streak of every nostalgic hockey fan’s favourite game, which is “Remember that guy?”
Each day, Puckdoku generates a three-by-three grid in which the three horizontal rows and the three vertical columns are each categories of players, statistical accomplishments, or, most often, NHL teams. Players must come up with a player to place in each box that satisfies both the horizontal and vertical requirements.
So, if the top-left box is the Anaheim Ducks vertically and the Nashville Predators horizontally, players must think of a player who played at least one game for both the Ducks and the Predators and slot them into that box. If the bottom-right box is the Detroit Red Wings horizontally and “scored 50+ goals in a season” vertically, they must slot in a player who scored 50 for the Wings.
Players are also given a score for each successful admission based on the percentage of other players who picked the same individual for that box. The lower your score, the better.
So, obviously, when it comes to this game, players that spent time on a lot of different teams are veritable gold.
To help you out with that, we’ve compiled a list of the most valuable Puckdoku answers to ever skate for the Vancouver Canucks. Read our list if you want a leg up or might find it interesting; don’t if you want to continue to rely on the annals of your memory alone!
Mike Sillinger
NHL Teams Played For: Detroit, Anaheim, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Florida, Ottawa, Columbus, Phoenix, St. Louis, Nashville, New York Islanders (12)
Canucks Career: (1995-1998), 138-28-32-60
Sillinger is, quite simply, the king of Puckdoku. Holder of the record for most teams played on in a career, Sillinger played his third-most games for Vancouver, putting up reasonable numbers for a two-way depth center. The real coup is in the Canucks now being part of one of the most unique careers in hockey history.
J.J. Daigneault
NHL Teams Played For: Vancouver, Philadelphia, Montreal, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Anaheim, New York Islanders, Nashville, Phoenix, Minnesota (10)
Canucks Career: (1984-1986), 131-9-46-55
Selected at tenth overall in 1984, Daigneault remains one of the highest picks in franchise history. He did some of his finest work as a rookie and sophomore for Vancouver, and then never really replicated that success in any of his subsequent nine stops. Apparently, the “J.J.” stood for “Just Journeying.”
Jim Dowd
NHL Teams Played For: New Jersey, Vancouver, New York Islanders, Calgary, Edmonton, Minnesota, Montreal, Chicago, Colorado, Philadelphia (10)
Canucks Career: (1995-1996), 38-1-6-7
No, not Nic. Jim Dowd was a traveling role-player who made the briefest of stops in Vancouver after spending his first few years in New Jersey. Canucks fans will primarily remember Dowd as a member of those ornery Wild teams back in the early-2000s.
Michel Petit
NHL Teams Played For: Vancouver, New York Rangers, Quebec, Toronto, Calgary, Los Angeles, Tampa Bay, Edmonton, Philadelphia, Phoenix (10)
Canucks Career: (1982-1988), 226-24-57-81
Petit might be most famous in Canucks circles for getting beat up repeatedly by Scott Walker, but he also spent his first and longest stint in the NHL with Vancouver after getting drafted 11th overall in the 1982 Entry Draft.
Mathieu Schneider
NHL Teams Played For: Montreal, New York Islanders, Toronto, New York Rangers, Los Angeles, Detroit, Anaheim, Atlanta, Vancouver, Phoenix (10)
Canucks Career: (2009-2010), 17-2-3-5
Schneider’s brief Vancouver career was a true debacle, with the “Hall of Very Good” defender very quickly displeased with his lack of ice-time and subsequent demotion and surprisingly vocal about it. A move to Phoenix allowed him to end his career on a slightly higher note.
Jussi Jokinen
NHL Teams Played For: Dallas, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Pittsburgh, Florida, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Columbus, Vancouver (9)
Canucks Career: (2017-2018), 14-4-6-10
The shootout legend himself came to Vancouver as a side-piece in a deal revolving around Thomas Vanek and Tyler Motte, and wound up going on one of the best short runs of his career as a Canuck. Jokinen’s time in Vancouver was brief, but it was a lot of fun, and that’s kind of been the book on him for most of his time in the NHL.
Grant Ledyard
NHL Teams Played For: New York Rangers, Los Angeles, Washington, Buffalo, Dallas, Vancouver, Boston, Ottawa, Tampa Bay (9)
Canucks Career: (1997-1998), 49-2-13-15
The big sturdy defender very briefly joined the Canucks in the middle of some of their darkest days, and left without making all that much of an impression. Few will even remember his time in Vancouver.
Brent Ashton
NHL Teams Played For: Vancouver, Colorado Rockies/New Jersey, Minnesota North Stars, Quebec, Detroit, Winnipeg Jets 1.0, Boston, Calgary (8)
Canucks Career: (1979-1980), 124-23-25-48
Selected by Vancouver at 26th overall in 1979, Ashton started slow for the Canucks, then put up 60 points in 80 games in his third NHL season…after being dealt to the Colorado Rockies. Though inconsistency plagued him throughout, Ashton managed to put up some solid seasons during his career, but never found much of a permanent home.
Alex Auld
NHL Teams Played For: Vancouver, Florida, Phoenix, Boston, Ottawa, Dallas, New York Rangers, Montreal (8)
Canucks Career: (2001-2006), 39-31-8, .907, 2.75
In covering for the Dan Cloutier era, Auld had the bar set nice and low for him, and quickly became a bit of a fan favourite in Vancouver. Then, he was shipped off to Florida in the Roberto Luongo trade and became a journeyman backup from there on out, before ultimately returning to Vancouver in a media role.
Marc Bergevin
NHL Teams Played For: Chicago, New York Islanders, Hartford, Tampa Bay, Detroit, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Vancouver (8)
Canucks Career: (2003-2004), 9-0-2-2
Nowadays, everyone knows Bergevin as the bumbling former GM of the Montreal Canadiens. At the time of his Trade Deadline acquisition by Vancouver, however, he was known for A) being Mario Lemieux’s bestie and B) being the funniest man in the NHL. Either way, he was at the end of a long, rambling career, and didn’t have much left in the tank for the Canucks.
Sean Burke
NHL Teams Played For: New Jersey, Hartford/Carolina, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Florida, Phoenix, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles (8)
Canucks Career: (1997-1998), 2-9-4, .876, 3.51
It really seems like Burke was around in Vancouver than 16 games, eh? That probably has something to do with his brief tenure involving a couple of memorable donnybrooks, including scraps between Burke and both Steve Shields and Matthew Barnaby…in the same game!
Anson Carter
NHL Teams Played For: Washington, Boston, Edmonton, New York Rangers, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Columbus, Carolina (8)
Canucks Career: (2005-2006), 81-33-22-55
How perfect is it that Carter’s big career season with the Sedin twins had him scoring 33 goals and 22 assists? He may have chased the cash after his one-year special for the Canucks and saw his career end shortly thereafter, but Carter was still a milestone linemate for the Sedins, in that he proved that the duo were truly capable of elevating the play of so-so wingers.
Michael Del Zotto
NHL Teams Played For: New York Rangers, Nashville, Philadelphia, Vancouver, Anaheim, St. Louis, Columbus, Ottawa (8)
Canucks Career: (2017-2019), 105-7-19-26
Del Zotto might not have been the best free agent signing in Canucks history, but he’s not the worst, either, and he performed as inconsistently as ever for Vancouver over parts of two seasons. Del Zotto’s contributions as dressing room DJ may have been his crowning achievement.
Gerald Diduck
NHL Teams Played For: New York Islanders, Montreal, Vancouver, Chicago, Hartford, Phoenix, Toronto, Dallas (8)
Canucks Career: (1990-1995), 265-17-55-72
Diduck was a classic tough defender with a modicum of offensive skill to go along with it, and his five-year run in Vancouver was easily the best hockey of his career. Diduck still gets talked about when discussions of old Canucks scrappers come up.
Josh Green
NHL Teams Played For: Los Angeles, New York Islanders, Edmonton, New York Rangers, Washington, Calgary, Vancouver, Anaheim (8)
Canucks Career: (2005-2007), 90-6-7-13
Green was the definition of a journeyman, but he managed to score some big goals for the Canucks over a couple seasons and probably got into more games than anyone would have expected.
Erik Gudbranson
NHL Teams Played For: Florida, Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Anaheim, Ottawa, Nashville, Calgary, Columbus (8)
Canucks Career: (2016-2019), 139-5-14-19
Gudbranson is still going, and he may have already worn out his welcome in Columbus, so expect to see him add to this list before all is said and done. A franchise-altering trade gone wrong, Gudbranson played in three seasons for Vancouver before being mercifully swapped for Tanner Pearson. Since then, he’s been shuffled around quite a bit for a former highly-sought-after third overall pick.
Greg Hawgood
NHL Teams Played For: Boston, Edmonton, Philadelphia, Florida, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Vancouver, Dallas
Canucks Career: (1999-2001), 95-7-22-29
A fun name, for sure. But haw good was he? Despite being a journeyman who bounced in and out of lineups, Hawgood managed to score at a roughly 40-point pace his entire career…and that’s as a defender. It’s certainly not haw-bad.
Dan Quinn
NHL Teams Played For: Calgary, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Minnesota North Stars, Ottawa, Los Angeles (8)
Canucks Career: (1989-1991), 101-34-49-83
Quinn arrived in Vancouver, put up some terrific production, and was then dealt to St. Louis in a trade that brought back Geoff Courtnall, Sergio Momesso, and Cliff Ronning. In other words, he’s lot more important to Canucks history than just being their third-most-famous ‘Quinn.’
Bryan Smolinski
NHL Teams Played For: Boston, Pittsburgh, New York Islanders, Los Angeles, Ottawa, Chicago, Vancouver, Montreal, (8)
Canucks Career: (2006-2007), 20-4-3-7
Smolinski, primarily known for his awkward-but-effective faceoff technique, came to Vancouver as a Trade Deadline acquisition and performed adequately. That same year, he received a singular vote for the Selke Trophy.
Thomas Vanek
NHL Teams Played For: Buffalo, New York Islanders, Montreal, Minnesota, Detroit, Florida, Vancouver, Columbus (8)
Canucks Career: (2017-18), 61-17-24-41
Vanek was awesome, and we all know it. Though his time in Vancouver was brief, it was electric, and he played well enough to be swapped out for Motte and Jokinen at the end of it. How many of those 17 goals were breakaway-slapshots? In our minds, it was all of them.
Eric Weinrich
NHL Teams Played For: New Jersey, Hartford, Chicago, Montreal, Boston, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Vancouver (8)
Canucks Career: (2005-2006), 16-0-0-0
Weinrich ended his lengthy career as a Trade Deadline acquisition for the Canucks. He didn’t get any points in his 16 games thereafter, but he did lead the league in “yellowest visor,” and that’s got to count for something.

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