WDYTT Summer Debates: Which Cup Finalist Canucks squad would win a head-to-head?

Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
1 year ago
Welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet to not get punked by the Florida Panthers this postseason.
Speaking of unfortunate things and the playoffs, hey, they happen. And no one knows that better than fans of the Vancouver Canucks, a franchise that has never won a Stanley Cup, but has come agonizingly close on three occasions.
The 1982 Canucks were the first to make it to the Cup Finals, only to be swept by a New York Islanders dynasty in the making.
The 1994 Canucks technically got the closest to glory, bringing the New York Rangers to Game Seven and losing by a single goal, though that just seemed to make it hurt worse.
Then came the 2011 Canucks. It’s only been 12 years, and yet the wounds are still fresh. Those Canucks got to Game Seven, too, but the less said about what happened there, the better.
Three Cup Finalist teams. Three very different Cup Finalist teams. Each created plenty of bittersweet memories for those fans around to watch them. Each was loaded up with some of the greatest players in franchise history.
Today, we’re not here to ask you which was your favourite, or which got you the most excited, or which one you’re still the most bitter about.
These are the WDYTT Summer Debates, and that means we’re putting these teams head-to-head in a time-traveling hypothetical tournament.
Imagine, if you will, each Canucks Cup Finalist squad, plucked from their prime and placed in a Memorial Cup-style tourney with a round robin and a playoff. Which do you think would come out on top?
This week, we’re asking:

Which Cup Finalist Canucks squad would win in a head-to-head tournament: 1982, 1994, or 2011?

Let it be known in the comment section.
Last week, we asked:

Who was the greatest Vancouver Canucks captain of all-time?

You debated below!
Who was the greatest Vancouver Canucks captain of all-time?
The answer is Linden and I’ll tell you that for free.
From a fan’s perspective, it was Linden, and not sure another is close. Linden emptied the tank and put the team on his back in the ’94 cup run. He would have given up an organ for them to win another game.
Henrik Sedin. (Fan since the beginning, so I have seen them all.)
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
I think this is an area where the Canucks have plenty of good options. Being captain of the Canucks is not a simple job. Perhaps for other teams, it is simply an analysis of their team’s performance.
My criteria includes their impact on the ice, in the community, and their communication skills. Since only three eras of Canucks’ teams made it to the final, three captains make my short list: Smyl, Linden, and Sedin. The 1982 Canucks did not have any sustained success, so it comes down to Linden and Sedin, with Sedin having a definite edge here.
Each of them were and are excellent in the community. Perhaps Henrik gets an edge because of the donation to the hospital, but this is very close.
Both captains have different styles, but were effective communicators, particularly when the team disappointed.
In the end, I’m going with Sedin.
Tough call between Sedin and Linden. If forced to pick it would be:
IMO, not even close.
Linden was our best captain, followed by Naslund and then Smyl.
Worst was naming Luongo captain, followed by Horvat and Henrik.
Gino Gino Gino…
Rusty Bee:
Both Henrik and Linden brought their teams to within one win of a Stanley Cup. Only one of them is a first ballot Hockey Hall of Famer.
I’m not sure I would want to pick between Smyl, Linden, and Sedin. All were great and worthy of being captains on any team. All were great leaders of teams that fell short, but great leaders nevertheless. It was a bit shocking to see Messier was captain for three seasons. Lost years. Any of the former three would be fine choices.
My top two are Henrik Sedin and Trevor Linden. Hard to pick between the two as they had distinct but nonetheless great qualities as captains. Gun to my head, I’d go with Linden, if for no other reason than how he played in the ’94 Finals.
bruce donice:
Different eras called for a different type of captain. The Canucks’ first captain Orland Kurtenbach, was a great leader, leading the group of players cast-off from their teams when expansion teams had to suffer for years when they came into the league. Canucks may have made it into the playoffs their first year if Kurtenbach didn’t break his leg around mid-season. Team went into a hard dive once their captain was out of the lineup.
Stan Smyl was tough even though he wasn’t very big, and would stand up for his teammates, no matter who he was up against. That first run to the finals was a blast.

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