WDYTT Summer Debates: Who is the hardest-hitting Canuck in franchise history?

Photo credit:© Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
11 months ago
Welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet that used to be regularly read by Olivia Newton-John (RIP!)
Speaking of getting physical, that’s something that the Vancouver Canucks hope to do far more of in the 2023/24 season, as per their recent free agent additions.
Being “hard to play against” is something that the Canucks already started to do after head coach Rick Tocchet took over, to the surprise of absolutely no one who observed Tocchet back in his own playing days. But with Carson Soucy and Ian Cole now in the mix, the Canucks can now be expected to hit even harder and more often, and ideally with greater effect.
Maybe before Rogers Arena updates the seats, they should reinforce the stanchions.
But while Soucy and Cole are almost certainly better hitters than any of the defenders who finished the season with Vancouver and are still around — with the possible exception of Noah Juulsen — they’ll have to throw a lot of them before they’re even considered to be in the running for the honour of “hardest-hitting Canuck in franchise history?”
So, who’s currently in the running, you ask?
Sorry, but that’s not how things work around here at the WDYTT Summer Debates. That’s your job, buddy, and it’s time to get to work.
This week, we’re debating:

Who is the hardest-hitting Canuck in franchise history?

Make your case in the comment section.
Last week, we asked:

Is Quinn Hughes already the best defenceman in Vancouver Canucks history?

You answered below!
BeerCan Boyd:
Yes. Best Canucks defenseman of all-time is a bit like valedictorian of summer school.
You failed to mention Alex Edler who is next in line behind Quinn.
Love Hughes and believe he will be the best defenseman in Canucks history, but Edler has the longevity at this point. I think Edler’s teams were also better which allowed him to play more impact games. Hopefully Quinn gets those soon.
BeerCan Boyd (in response):
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
Rose-coloured glasses. Ohlund, Jovanovski, and Jyrki Lumme were all better players than Edler. Maybe even Sami Salo. Or Dan Hamhuis. Edler’s greatest assets were his longevity and reliability.
Hughes is already 10X the player Edler ever was.
Canuck Dog:
Q is our Bobby Orr, we need to embrace that.
Help him get to those levels!
Could be sold that he is our best offensive defenseman. However, best defenseman?
IMO, not yet and unless he grows bigger and becomes a lot better defensively, not a chance.
Ohlund, Edler, and Jovanovski might think they own this title.
Below the names of Lumme, Hamhuis, and Salo were also mentioned.
IMO, recency bias is needed to think Hughes wears the title.
Craig Gowan:
Yes. Hughes is the best defenceman in Canucks history, and it’s not particularly close.
How soon the fanbase forgets about Ohlund. Quite frankly, he is the franchise’s best all-round D, whereas Hughes is by far the best offensive D. Ohlund would crush people, play PP, PK, matchup, could skate, and had a hammer of a shot. They sure could use somebody like him right now.
Jyrki Lumme is not only the best D in Canucks’ history, he is probably the best D in the history of the world, full stop.
Hughes is the best offensive D-man for the Canucks. Unfortunately, he’s not the best all-situations D-man in Canucks history. If he was, we wouldn’t have such a (expletive) PK these last few years. Now, we desperately need a LHD that can kill penalties effectively because Hughes isn’t that guy.
OEL was and continues to be the the best defenceman in Canucks history. That’s why the Canucks will be paying him through the 2030-31 season. Hughes will only be paid through 2026-27.
The internet has spoken.
It didn’t take long after Pavel Bure arrived in Vancouver for people to start calling him the best player to ever play for the Canucks. Some would say it took just a single shift.
Quinn Hughes arrived in much the same fashion. Even following his initial five-game NHL audition at the tail-end of the 2018/19 season, there were whispers that he was already well on his way to the distinction of best Canucks’ defenseman of all-time. Now, those whispers were summarily shouted down by those with more patience, more restraint, and more respect for the concept of jinxing things. But by the time Hughes was about halfway through his official rookie campaign, the whispers had grown louder and the shout-downs had died down.
The sophomore slump hit Hughes hard, and doubters emerged. Some lost faith. Others did not.
Two seasons have elapsed since, and Hughes hasn’t just rebuilt his rep fully, he’s greatly expanded on it. Now, there’s honestly no argument to be made whatsoever about whether or not Hughes is the most talented D in franchise history. He simply is.
Whether or not that equates to being “the best” depends on one’s exact definition of “best.” For this author, it would mean not necessarily the most talented blueliner, but the one who makes the greatest positive impact on their team.
Which is, of course, Quinn Hughes.

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