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WWYDW Summer Debates: Who is the most exciting player in Vancouver Canucks history?

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
9 months ago
Welcome back to WWYDW, the only hockey column on the internet with a strong anti-vowel lean.
Speaking of vowels, it’s time for our final “all-time yearly award” here at the Summer Debates, which means the player who’s drawn the most ooo’s and aaa’s — the most exciting player in Vancouver Canucks franchise history.
If you’re just joining our late-summer series, we’re taking the four fan-voted annual Canuck awards and applying them to the team’s entire 54-year history for the sole purposes of hypothetical debate.
We’re down to the last of the four, and it’s the most exciting both in terms of the name of the award and how we expect the debate to unfold.
There are some immediate and potent contenders, to be sure. But there are enough of them to ensure a fittingly lively back-and-forth, and we’re looking forward to seeing who you thought got you out of your seat the most often.
This week, we’re debating:

Who is the most exciting player in Canucks history?

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

Who is the single-most valuable Vancouver Canucks player of all-time?

You answered below!
bruce donice:
The way QH and EP are starting their careers they look to be the most valuable players in team history. They make players around them better, and the best part is they are just beginning. Once Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson get going, they will give the rest of the team swagger and want to be better players themselves. That work ethic that Rutherford talked about with Crosby will filter through the team as they want to win and will work their asses off to get there. That hard work will soon be part of the team culture as new players and prospects who join the team will feel it and want to become a part of it. I have been a Canucks fan before they came into the NHL and never have I watched two young players of EP and QH’s talent on the Canucks at one time. Rutherford and his crew know what they have and are building a support network around them. Imagine if Brock is able to get his game back; when he, QH, and EP played 3-on-3 they were magic.
My MVP of all time is both Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson as the best is yet to come, and they now have a coach who is challenging them to become better.
kanucked:
This is a difficult question to answer. Two players stand out to me: Henrik and Bure. Henrik is the only Canuck to win the Hart, played his entire career as a Canuck, and was captain of the best team in franchise history winning two Presidents’ Trophies. Bure, on the other hand, didn’t do any of those things, but he made being a Canucks fan fun. He made people from other cities Canucks fans.
In the end, I’m going with Henrik.
BigBA:
I look at what a player provided to the organization while playing and what they offered to the organization after they retired.
IMO this has to go to Thomas Gradin.
Not only a great player, he found us Pettersson as a scout.
spiel:
Daniel and Henrik Sedin are the only Canucks to ever win a league award for being the most valuable player: Henrik the Hart trophy as voted by writers, and Daniel the Ted Lindsay as voted by the players.
I am going to pick Daniel Sedin as the most valuable of all time, as I contend that the finisher is more valuable than the playmaker in terms of winning games, but really either one of these two is the clear choice.
DeL:
This for me is a difficult question. I’ve been following the Canucks since their inception into the NHL, so I have longevity, but my memory is fading. Henrik has longevity and was surrounded by a great team; Bure was something the fanbase had never seen before or since; Linden was a great leader. When he got drafted, I thought it was the best pick the Canucks ever made, but the MVP has to encapsulate the best qualities of the players listed above and add one more: does he make the players around him elevate their game? That individual is playing for us right now, and that’s EP. Hasn’t got longevity yet, but if the Canucks can keep him build around him he’s da man!
sixpax:
Sedin.
RagnarokOroboros:
Very good question.
Pavel Bure is the most valuable player in Canucks history. When he joined the team, he brought superstar power like no other player before him for the Canucks. He brought the Canucks team into the collective consciousness of the whole province and created legions of new fans for the Canucks. To this day, everyone still thinks of him as one of the greatest Canucks players ever and his goal scoring was electric.
Henrik or Daniel Sedin could be argued to be the most valuable player in history, but you can’t call one the greatest without calling the other the greatest. They are too intertwined in the consciousness of the fan base. Would they have been as great if they played on different teams? Maybe… Without a doubt they are in the top-five greatest Canucks ever, but I can’t say either one is THE greatest. We can say they are both the best human beings in Canucks history
Pettersson may eventually be the most valuable player in Canucks history, but his story is still being told. If he ever brings the Stanley Cup home, his legacy will be sealed.
Bartholomew Gimble:
What a crazy question! So difficult to answer, but I’ll cast my vote for Trevor Linden. Forget his ill-fated time as an executive, and consider only his playing career. He was everything a leader should be in the uber-exciting ‘94 playoffs. Playing massive minutes in crunch time, winning puck battles and key face-offs, and getting 25 points in 24 games. Jim Robson summed it up: “But there is going to be that seventh game. We’ll hope they can patch Linden up, and get him in that one. He will play, you know he’ll play! He’ll play on crutches! He will play, and he’ll play at Madison Square Garden … on Tuesday night.”
Rob Guenther:
It’s gotta be Henrik Sedin. In 2009 after Daniel went down, everybody thought he would be a shadow of himself without his brother. Dude said “hold my beer” and stepped up 18 levels. He single-handedly threw the team on his back and dragged them into the playoffs. He won a Hart Trophy and literally earned the ‘C’ for his troubles. Without that effort, the jerk-puck era looks completely different and 2011 probably never happens. That season alone seals it for me.
Jibsys:
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
The answer for the single most valuable players is the twins…. Yes, my reading comprehension is on par, because at first glance these are two players and not a single player, but you can’t have one without the other.
Thery are like the KitKat bar of the NHL. If you break off one piece you no longer have a KitKat bar, you have a piece of a KitKat but with all pieces together, you have one single KitKat bar.
These guys shared a brain or had some unusual twin telepathic power so I would argue that perhaps they really are a single player based on my own personal made up definition.
Never in the history of the league have two players been such a cohesive unit.Hull and Oates were great back in the day, as were Gretzky/Kurri among others, but the twins had that union of the minds that made them one.
CaptPodz:
Over the Canucks’ history, the single most valuable Canuck was Trevor Linden. Nobody has come close to bleeding the Canucks colours more than Trevor. He lead the team to its first serious Cup challenge, no offence to the ‘80a team. Plus, the return for him in the trade set up the team for a decade.
BeerCan Boyd:
The ultimate goal is to win the Stanley Cup. Ergo, the most valuable Canucks player of all-time would be the one who got them closest to that achievement. In ‘82 it was Brodeur. In ‘94 it was Linden/Bure, and in 2010 it was the twins. There’s your choices. I’ll go with Linden. “You know he’ll play!”
Craig Gowan:
There are only two players in Canucks history who won the Art Ross Trophy: the Sedins. Only two players won MVP awards (Henrik the Hart; Daniel the Ted Lindsay). I think Henrik was the better player, better leader, and played the more important position. My MVP of all time is Henrik Sedin.
Malcolm Metcalf:
So many quality players come to mind. Gradin, Ohlund, Salo, but the guy that wore his heart on his sleeve and did every thing asked of as a captain was Smyl. Seasons when he lead the team in goals, assists, and PIMs. Always stood up for teammates and never backed down. He is the very essence of what seems to be missing today.
Kearnsie:
I’ll cast my vote for longtime captain, sometime assistant coach, and erstwhile temporary general manager Stan Smyl.
RealPB:
For me, it’s actually Luongo. The Canucks have had some goalies who’ve put together decent regular seasons and McLean and Brodeur obviously had magical playoff runs (and McLean had a great three year stretch). But for the most part, the good teams we might have had — Gradin-Smyl-Tanti era, WCE, even Bure-Linden — were for the most part let down by middling or inconsistent goaltending. Yes, obviously the Twins and Kesler, Ohlund, Burrows etc were exceptional, but it really wasn’t until we got Luongo that you could count on elite level goaltending that simply made us a top-echelon team in a way that you couldn’t say about others even when Naslund and Bertuzzi or whoever else was piling on the points when the Cloutiers and Aulds and whoever else was letting in shots from center ice. That Luongo was mismanaged or his contract was (especially in retrospect) both unfairly viewed and penalized is not his fault. He’s the MVP in my book.
Magic Head:
It’s Pavel Bure. He’s the main reason the Canucks were able to build a new arena and he was the first real superstar the Canucks had. Second would be Trevor Linden, strictly for the return the Canucks got when they traded him, rather than his contributions on the ice. His trade set the Canucks up for 20 years and gave them the West Coast Express, the Sedins, as well as Luongo and Markstrom.

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