Over 51 seasons 621 players have dawned the Vancouver Canucks sweater. Each player with a story and for various amounts of time. Through the years Canucks have got witnessed the likes of Stan Smyl, Pavel Bure, Trevor Linden, Henrick Sedin, and Daniel Sedin, among many other great players. Of all the players they all wore numbers on their sweaters, but which players were the greatest players to wear each number?
Number 1: Roberto Luongo
The number one could be the toughest number to distinguish when it comes to the greatest Canucks player to wear. Both Roberto Luongo and Kirk McLean both dawned one, both of which led the Canucks within one game of winning the Stanley Cup. Both of which sit atop of the Canucks record books for games played, wins, and shutouts. Although Luongo edges out McLean solely for leading in wins (252) and shutouts (38) while playing 68 games less.
Number 2: Mattias Ohlund
Not only is Mattias Ohlund the greatest Canucks player to wear number two, but he is also arguably the greatest blueliner the Canucks have ever had. Up until 2018, Ohlund was the Canucks all-time points leader with 325 points in 770 career games. In his 11 seasons manning the blueline Ohlund showed it all from his skating abilities to physicality, and even his ability to find the back of the net.
Number 3: Doug Lidster
Doug Lidster was a seventh-round pick by the Canucks back in 1980 but didn’t crack the Canucks roster until the 1983-84 season. Up until the 2021-22 season Lidster held the Canucks record for points in a season by a defenceman with 63 and currently sits fifth all-time above another number three Kevin Bieksa. In Lidster’s decade-long run with Canucks he compiled 307 points in 666 games.
Number 4: Rick Lanz
Rick Lanz spent seven seasons in Vancouver through the ’80s. Lanz played 417 games for the Canucks compiling 217 points, over half those points came on the power play. Although the ’80s were a rough time for the Canucks Lanz was a standout with two 50+ seasons. Although if tragedy didn’t strike in 2007 this spot could very well belong to Luc Bourdon.
Number 5: Christian Ehrhoff
In just two short seasons Christian Ehrhoff managed to make a big for the Canucks. Playing in 159 games Ehrhoff scored 94 points 28 of which being goals, while also racking a +55. Although his stay was short he managed to finish top-10 in Norris voting both of his seasons with the Canucks. With more time in Vancouver, he could have potentially gone down as the franchise’s greatest blueliner.
Number 6: Dennis Kearns
Could this spot belong to Brock Boeser? It could and in a couple more seasons very likely will, but for the time being, five foot eight defenseman Dennis Kearns owns it. Kearns joined the Canucks back in the 1971-72 season where he would spend a decade wreaking havoc from the blue line finishing his career with 321 points which would be the Canucks record from a defenseman until Ohlund passed both Kearns and Jyrki Lumme in 2009.
Number 7: Brendan Morrison
Seven could go either way between Brendan Morrison or Cliff Ronning. Morrison takes the edge over Ronning however. Being the third member of the electric “West Coast Express” line Morrison spent eight years in Vancouver appearing in 543 games.
Number 8: Greg Adams
Greg Adams joined the Vancouver Canucks back in 1987. Over his eight seasons in Vancouver, he scored 179 goals while adding 190 assists. Currently, Adams is 13th all-time in goals scored for the Canucks but captain Bo Horvat is just nine goals behind him. Other considerations for this spot go out to defensemen Chris Tanev and Willie Mitchell.
Number 9: J.T. Miller
This may go out to recency bias but J.T. Miller has been the Canucks lifeline the past couple of seasons and the 2021-22 season was a remarkable season for Miller. He scored 32 goals and added 67 assists, while almost helping the lost Canucks reach the unthinkable playoffs. In his three seasons thus far Miller has appeared in 202 games while maintaining over one point per game. Although it is unsure if he’ll play beyond next season Miller has been nothing short of excellent with Vancouver
Number 10: Pavel Bure
This should come as no debate and likely not be the first the “Russian Rocket” appears on the list. Pavel Bure broke into the NHL with the Canucks in 1991 winning the Calder, he would then follow up his Calder winning season with two 60-goal seasons. During 1993-94, Bure play a vital role in leading the Canucks into a fearsome battle for the Stanley Cup where they would fall to the New York Rangers in seven games. Although things ended roughly for Bure and the Canucks the future Hockey Hall of Fame forward did enough in his time to see his numbers be raised into the rafters at Rogers Arena.
One through ten has been set. Some players listed may be grounds for debate, but the list itself has lots left to fill. Stay tuned for 11 through 98.
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