The Vancouver Canucks joined the NHL in 1970 as part of a two-team expansion with the Buffalo Sabres. They are members of the Pacific Division, owned by the Canucks Sports and Entertainment Group, whose chairman is Francisco Aquilini. The Canucks general manager is Jim Benning, and their head coach is Travis Green. They sport a blue and green jersey color scheme and play their home games in the 16,000+ capacity Rogers Arena.
They have yet to win a Stanley Cup, but they have made three NHL Championship appearances; in 1982 against the New York Islanders, in 1994 against the New York Rangers, and again in 2011 against the Boston Bruins. They are looking to finally secure the trophy as they have had success at every other level; they have won 3 Conference Championships, 2 Presidents’ Trophies, and 10 Division Championships.
The Canucks franchise has a unique circumstance for their franchise record-holders; identical twin brothers, Henrik and Daniel Sedin are the best players to play for the Canucks. The brothers were born six minutes apart and crazily enough, they spent most of their professional careers playing together. They were drafted by the Canucks through a sequence of pre-draft trades by ex-general manager Brian Burke.
Henrik holds team records in games played with 1330, assists with 830, and points with 1070. Daniel leads the Canucks in all-time goals, with 393, and in point shares, with 123. Henrik even assisted Daniel’s final goal in the last game of his career! Both have had their jerseys retired by the franchise, Henrik’s number 33, and Daniel’s number 22. It’s safe to say Burke made the right moves!
Another one of the best trades in Canucks’ history took place in 1996, when they traded for wing Markus Naslund, bringing him in from the Pittsburgh Penguins. He would become an eight-time team captain, and by the time he finished his career with them, he held their all-time leading goals and points career records. These since have been broken by the Sedin twins, but he is still ranked top three in both categories.
Last season, the Canucks finished 4th in the Pacific Division with a record of 36-27-6, good enough to qualify for the playoffs. They beat the Minnesota Wild in the Qualifying Round, the St. Louis Blues in the First Round, and finally lost in the Second Round to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Vancouver reached the playoffs led by their three young centers, J.T. Miller, Elias Pettersson, and Bo Horvat. Miller, 26, had the most ice time of the group; scoring 72 points, 27 goals, and 45 assists. He also shot 16.4%, which was 2nd highest on the team; they acquired him through a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2019. Pettersson, 21, had the highest shooting percentage, at 16.7%, and finished with the team’s 2nd highest time on ice. Horvat, 24, led the team in shots on goal applying the most pressure, and led the three in total blocks, with 66.
The Canucks had two goalies start the bulk of their games this past season. Jacob Markstrom started 43 games, finishing with a 23-16 record while racking up 1,303 saves, totaling a save percentage of .918%. Thatcher Demko started 25 games, finishing 13-10, with 744 saves and a .905% save percentage.
The NHL aims to begin the upcoming season on January 1st, 2021. Do you think the Canucks will be able to pull off their first Stanley Cup victory next year?
If you’re feeling confident in them, or maybe even just lucky, here are their odds, via Draftkings, for the upcoming 2020-2021 season:
Odds to win 2020/21 Western Conference: +2700
Odds to win 2020/21 NHL Championship: +3500