The Vancouver Canucks are a franchise of many faces. You can think of a team that struggled for much of the '70s and '80s (except that trip to the 1982 Stanley Cup Final). You can think of the team that was one win away from capturing the 1994 Stanley Cup or a team that underwent a long period of irrelevance thanks to the signing of Mark Messier.
During the 2000s and 2010s, some think of a team that dominated the NHL for many years, though most think of a team that missed out on its once chance at a championship and has no idea where it's going. Even though there's no questioning how lackluster this franchise has been for many years.
However, there have been some players who created their legacies in Vancouver while others simply wish we'd forget their tenures. Here's a list of eight Canucks who loved playing in Vancouver...and seven who hated it!
15 Loved It: Kevin Bieksa
Kevin Bieksa was the 151st-overall pick of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. He spent a lot of time in the minors before establishing himself as one of the Canucks' top blueliners. Bieksa was one of the most charismatic and likable personalities on Vancouver during his time here. His game-winning goal in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final (in overtime) has ensured his play in Canucks lore.
Bieksa was always proud to be a Canuck. The fans loved him and he did a lot of charity work for the team. He was close with former Canuck Rick Rypien, who committed suicide after struggles with depression. Bieksa became an active leader and voice in helping out for those who suffer with the illness.
The Canucks traded him to the Anaheim Ducks in the summer of 2015, but there's no doubting how much he appreciated his time here.
14 Hated It: Keith Ballard
Keith Ballard was a solid number-two defencemen during his days with the Phoenix Coyotes and Florida Panthers. At the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Mike Gillis traded away a solid top-six forward in Steve Bernier, the team's first-round pick in 2010 and the speedy Michael Grabner. I remember rolling my eyes at the trade then. Six years later, it may be the worst in franchise history.
Unfortunately for Ballard, he couldn't even establish himself as a top-four defenceman in Vancouver. A team with limited cap space took on his expensive contract all for nothing, as he struggled to find his way into a demanding hockey market. The Canucks happily used one of their compliance buyouts on him, ending one of the most forgettable tenures in franchise history.
13 Loved It: Todd Bertuzzi
The New York Islanders failed to make the most out of Big Bert. They drafted him then GM Mike Milbury fooled around with his place on the team. When all was said and done, Todd Bertuzzi was packaged in a deal that sent him to the Canucks and fan favorite Trevor Linden was sent to the Islanders.
It took a while, but eventually Bertuzzi became a star with the Canucks. He scored 25 goals in each of the 1999-2000 and the 2000-01 season. The latter year, he helped the Canucks reach the playoffs for the first time since 1996. Bertuzzi then took it a step further the following season, scoring a career-high 36 goals an 85 points. A season later? 46 goals and 97 points. Bertuzzi formed the infamous West Coast Express Line with Markus Naslund and Brendan Morrison, and the three took a perennial loser and turned them into a long-term contender.
No doubt Bertuzzi enjoyed Vancouver, because all of his best years were with this team. It's a shame the Steve Moore incident led to the downfall of his legendary status here.
12 Hated It: Shane O'Brien
Shane O'Brien wasn't much of anything but a tough guy with the Canucks. He loved to take silly penalties and get into fights with opponents, but it certainly did help with a team that was often too soft and lacked toughness. However, O'Brien's tenure with the Canucks ended in rather bitter circumstances.
Prior to the 2010 season, the Canucks had plenty of defencemen and wanted to move O'Brien's contract. They traded him to the Nashville Predators for Ryan Parent, and O'Brien voiced his displeasure for the team and how he was disappointed that they stooped so low.
And given how all he did was end up with time in the penalty box during his days with the Canucks while scoring only two goals in his two seasons with the team, we're sure O'Brien didn't enjoy his time in Vancouver.
11 Loved It: Dan Hamhuis
The B.C. boy always had a desire to play for the Canucks. In the summer of 2010, he signed a six-year, $27 million contract despite heavy pushes from the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins - who apparently offered more money. Dan Hamhuis took a pay cut to play for his home team.
Hamhuis became a fan favorite quickly. He was the team's best blueliner since the days of Ed Jovanovski and played a huge role in helping them reach their first Stanley Cup Final in 17 seasons. Hamhuis even stayed with the Canucks all of last season instead of waiving his no-movement clause to join a Stanley Cup contender.
Though Hamhuis did end up joining the Dallas Stars in the offseason instead of coming back to Vancouver, he took less money and stayed around through a couple rough years - showing his love and loyalty for the team.
10 Hated It: Mathieu Schneider
The Canucks thought they'd sign a former 20-goal scoring defenceman to a one-year deal. Mathieu Schneider was brought in to quarterback the Canucks power play and provide more stability to a blue line. Little did he know the only thing he was signing up for was a tenure that he would LOVE to pretend never happened.
In 17 games with the Canucks, he averaged a mere 15:15 minutes per game despite averaging over 20:00 every year since 1999-2000. The Canucks weren't all impressed with Schneider's play and he didn't like his ice time. After going unclaimed off wavers, he was eventually traded to the Coyotes.
Being a veteran of over 20 years in the NHL, Schneider certainly had the right to feel like he wasn't getting the ice time he deserved. But the Canucks didn't treat him how he wanted, and it made his time here forgettable.
9 Loved It: Markus Naslund
In a trade that was among the most one-sided in NHL history, the Canucks traded for Markus Naslund and gave up Alek Stojanov instead. Naslund became the team captain and leader of the Canucks for over a decade. He was an 11-time 20-goal scorer in his career and he scored 40 goals in three-straight seasons from 2000-01 to 2002-03 - scoring 104 points in the latter year.
Naslund went from a forgotten commodity in Pittsburgh to an icon in Vancouver. Like Bertuzzi, he helped turn the team into a relevant franchise that enjoyed over a decade of Stanley Cup contention. Naslund was one of the top captains in his era - as a leader and as a player. He finished with 869 career points, and his number 19 in Vancouver is now retired - ensuring that the slick Swede will forever be remembered.
8 Hated It: Cody Hodgson
The Canucks first-round draft choice in 2008 was supposed to take over for Henrik Sedin as this team's top centre some day. Cody Hodgson, however, struggled to make it to the pros until he secured a full-time spot on the 2011-12 Canucks roster.
He scored 16 goals and 33 points in 63 games that season as a third-line centre. But Hodgson wasn't happy about being a bottom-six forward and asked to be traded. The Canucks sent him to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Zack Kassian. Sadly, both guys had so much promise but neither have lived up to the potential.
Perhaps Hodgson should have stayed in Vancouver, but he had no desire to stay with them. He was on his way to a 20-goal season before the trade. He's struggled to find playing time all over the NHL since leaving the team he didn't like playing for.
7 Loved It: Pavel Bure
The Russian Rocket made such a significant impact on the Canucks franchise. They were a frustrating team for much of the '80s and early '90s, until Pavel Bure burst onto the scene in 1991-92 and scored 34 goals in his rookie season. He followed it up with 60 the next, and put the NHL on notice as a slick goal-scorer.
Bure was a huge part in helping the Canucks reach the 1994 Stanley Cup Final against the New York Rangers. Though the Canucks lost in seven games, Bure played a significant role in bringing the team back into prominence. The team retired his number four in 2013 - an honour well deserved by Bure.
His legacy was born in Vancouver, where it's enshrined forever. Given how all of his best years were with the Canucks that led to his Hockey Hall of Fame induction in 2012, it's safe to say Bure will always feel satisfied about playing for Vancouver.
6 Hated It: Ryan Kesler
It feels wrong putting Ryan Kesler here, considering it was the Canucks who drafted him in 2003 and helped him become a superstar. Sure, he was one of the most dominant forwards in the league during his time. Kesler was a constant 20-goal scorer, but he managed to score 40 in 2010-11. That year, the Canucks were within one game of winning the Stanley Cup, but Kesler won the Selke Trophy as the NHL's best defensive forward.
But after the failed 2013-14 campaign under John Tortorella, Kesler requested a trade and went to the Anaheim Ducks. It's clear Kesler had enough playing for a declining franchise that didn't make him feel at home enough. Rumors also go around the players didn't like Kesler's me-first attitude, either.
Again, there's a reason he wanted a trade: Kesler didn't like playing in Vancouver any more. Also, as a member of Team USA in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, Kesler said he hated Team Canada. He sure hated the people in Vancouver, then.
5 5. Loved It: Stan Smyl
Stan Smyl is one of the most beloved and accomplished Canucks players of all-time. The former captain played with the team from 1979-80 to 1990-91. He finished with 262 career goals and 673 points. The Canucks reached the 1982 Stanley Cup Final but were swept by the New York Islanders. Still, Smyl was the focal point in helping the Canucks reach their first-ever final - it brought a new sentiment to the city.
It's not just his career that made Smyl such a legend to the Canucks. He was an ambassador for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and he had the honours of running with the Olympic torch. Smyl was also an assistant coach with the Canucks for almost the entire '90s decade.
Smyl did so much for the Canucks, that the City gave back so much to him. No doubt, he loved it here in Vancouver!
4 Hated It: Mark Messier
The Canucks, whose Stanley Cup dreams were dashed by the Mark Messier-led New York Rangers in 1994, decided to make amends - signing him to a five-year deal in 1997 worth $6 million per season. A team that was in need of a new star dished it all out on a 36-year-old guy who had seen better days.
If anything else, Messier was to be a money draw for a fanbase that struggled to but rear ends in seats. But all Messier did was create a huge mess in Vancouver. He blamed the ice for his (and the team's struggles) and was accused at quarreling with management and the head coaches.
He also won a $6 million arbitration case against the team in 2012. Yup, he was so horrible on a team that he had to find ways to take more money from them. Messier signed up for the money in Vancouver and then did everything he could to put the team through misery.
3 Loved It: Trevor Linden
Trevor Linden was the heart-and-soul leader of the Canucks. He guided them to a Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1994, even though they fell just two goals short of winning it all. Canucks fans were horrified to learn the team traded away its icon to the New York Islanders in 1998. Without coincidence, the Canucks were awful in the years without him.
The Canucks then brought him back during the 2001-02 season. Though the Canucks kept failing in the playoffs, Linden kept his loyalty and took discounts to finish his career with the team that drafted him. Linden would walk away from the game of hockey in 2008 and have his number 16 retired in an emotional ceremony.
The team has since hired him to run the front office, and Linden is the man with the keys in rebuilding the franchise. The Canucks would not be the same without Linden, who graced playing for the city of Vancouver.
2 Hated It: Roberto Luongo
When the Vancouver Canucks traded for Roberto Luongo from the Florida Panthers in 2006, it appeared as though this elite netminder would get the moment of his life. He played like a superstar in Florida, only for the Panthers to compete for lottery picks and never come close to the playoffs.
Luongo finally got the recognition he deserved as the Vancouver Canucks netminder, but the media and fans were quick to blame him any time the team lost. Granted, Luongo was always a disappointment in the postseason. There's no denying he underachieved after always putting up great regular seasons. But was he to blame for the Canucks losing 4-0 to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final? Nope.
That whole game would have changed Luongo's legacy in Vancouver, but the Canucks fans lost faith on him to the point where he wanted out. John Tortorella didn't even start him for the 2014 Heritage Classic and Luongo voiced his displeasure.
He was finally traded back to Florida in 2014, putting an end to an incredibly controversial tenure in Vancouver.
1 Loved It: Daniel and Henrik Sedin
The Canucks wanted to make these guys their franchise icon. General manager Brian Burke worked his magic to obtain both the second and third picks to draft the Sedin Twins. And suddenly, these guys changed the franchise.
After years of mediocrity, the Canucks became a force in the Western Conference. Daniel and Henrik were close to finding new homes in 2009, but signed long-term deals with Vancouver. Heading into the 2013-14 season, the twins signed four-year extensions knowing the team was going into a non-contending period.
Daniel and Henrik Sedin each have a scoring title to their names and helped the Canucks reach the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. Both of them have refused to accept trades and have said time-and-time again how they'll stay on for the hard days.
And you think they don't love being here?
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