Over the year the Vancouver Canucks have had many great players, but not a whole lot of success. The Canucks Ring of Honour is composed of six Canuck legends, Alexandre Burrows, Mattias Ohlund, Harold Snepsts, Thomas Gradin, Kirk McLean, Orland Kurtenbach, and the late Pat Quinn. While there are six numbers hanging in the rafters of Rogers Arena, Pavel Bure‘s number 10, Stan Smyl‘s 12, Trevor Linden‘s 16, Markus Naslund‘s 19, Daniel Sedin‘s 22, and Henrik Sedin‘s 33. Although many fans believe the Canucks should not retire another jersey number until they win a Stanley Cup, there are defiantly a few players worthy of such honor. The fact of the matter is there are still some players that deserve recognition for their contributions throughout Canucks history.
Acquired by the Canucks in 1980 Richard Brodeur played 377 between the pipes in Vancouver, racking up 126 wins. Brodeur’s 377 games played and 126 wins both rank third all-time among Canucks goaltenders. Throughout his eight years in Vancouver, he compiled a 3.88 goals-against average, as well as a .872 save percentage. Although Brodeur does not have the most eye-popping stats he was in fact the first goalie in Canucks history to help lead them to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they would get swept by the Islanders in 1982. Brodeur’s major career achievement is being the goaltender to surrender the most goals to Wayne Gretzky with 29. Although Brodeur did not do enough in Vancouver to warrant his number 35 going into the rafters, he should be considered for the Canucks Ring of Honour.
Drafted in the fifth round of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, the Canucks found themselves a gem. One of the most beloved players in Canucks history Gino Odjik. He did not score much but his job was to be the protector. Odjick was not afraid to throw his body and hands around. Through eight seasons Odjick played in 444 games scoring 98 points and racking up 2127 penalty minutes. Odjick can still make Canucks fans smile 24 years after his departure. As a fan favorite for Vancouver, it only seems right to have Odjick in the Ring of Honour.
Another beloved Canucks great Todd Bertuzzi. Although due to his actions in 2004 involving Steve Moore it is unfortunately unlikely the Canucks honor the big power forward. Bertuzzi played eight seasons in Vancouver. In his eight seasons, he managed 188 goals, which is tenth all-time in Canucks history, 261 assists, which is also tenth all-time, and 449 points, which is ninth all-time. One-third of the Canucks West Coast Express line Bertuzzi was a force to reckoned with. An argument could be made for either the Ring of Honour or a jersey retirement, but the Ring of Honour seems fitting for Bertuzzi.
Drafted by the Canucks in 2003 Ryan Kesler was a staple in Vancouver for many years. Although things grew rough between Kesler and Vancouver towards the end of his ten-year tenure, no one can take away the heart Kesler played with. Playing in 655 games in Vancouver Kesler scored 182 goals while adding 211 points. He brought home one Selke Award as well as finishing top three, four other times. Regardless of how things ended between Kesler and the Canucks he is well-deserving of being included in the Ring of Honour sitting next to former teammate Alex Burrows.
The Canucks 2001 fifth-round pick Kevin Bieksa showed as much heart as any other player ever has. The chippy defenceman was a key part of the Canucks core for 10 seasons in Vancouver. Ranking seventh among Canucks defencemen in games played with 597, Bieksa compiled 241 points, as well as one of the most memorable goals in Canucks history scoring the game-winner double-overtime of game five sending Vancouver to their third Stanley Cup final in 2011. Bieksa is a no-brainer for the Canucks Ring of Honour, but unfortunately, he does not make the cut for his number to hang in the rafters.
Undoubtedly the greatest goalie in Canucks history. Roberto Luongo played eight seasons with Canucks. Through his eight seasons, Luongo ranks second in games played with 448, first in wins with 252, and first in shutouts with 38, appeared in three all-star games, and was team captain from 2008-2010. He holds various Canuck’s records including the lowest goals-against average in a single season (2.11), Longest shutout streak (242:36), most shutouts in a season (9), most wins in a season (47), and most saves in a single game (72). Although Luongo could not bring home that elusive Stanley Cup he is the greatest goalie in Canucks history. The Florida Panthers retired Luongo’s number on March seventh, 2020. It is no Vanvouvers turn to raise Luongo’s number into the rafters at Rogers Arena.
Young Canucks that could join the Ring of Honour
Many great players have and will dawn a Canucks jersey. Although some may never see recognition the six above have done what is needed for some recognition. Currently the Canucks have some players that could find themselves in a Canucks ceremony when things are all said and done. Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat, Thatcher Demko, and maybe Quinn Hughes come to mind. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves it is time for Canucks fans to call for Luongo and his number 1 be retired.
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