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The All-Time 7: TSN's Vancouver Canucks All-Time Team

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11.05.2020

Sr. Managing Editor of Hockey

Archive

TSN Hockey presents the All-Time 7 Project. We are naming all-time teams - 21 players, a head coach and GM - for each of the seven Canadian NHL clubs. Today, we conclude it with the Vancouver Canucks.

If this were 2025 rather than 2020, how different might the Vancouver Canucks’ all-time team look?

Indeed, how different might it look if it were 2022 – pandemic permitting?

Absent from the TSN All-Time 7 star-studded team are Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes, the centre named NHL Rookie of the Year in 2018-19 and the left defenceman who may earn the same honour in 2019-20.

Neither sophomore Pettersson, nor freshman Hughes, has played the requisite 225 regular-season games to be eligible for the all-time team. By the end of the 2021-22 season, they should both have reached that minimum.

It wouldn’t be reasonable to consider their abbreviated bodies of work – however impressive – in the same classes as that of their predecessors.

Pettersson, in particular, is carrying on a proud Swedish tradition at centre. Two of the four all-time centres – Henrik Sedin and Thomas Gradin – wore Tre Kronor sweaters internationally. Franchise icon Trevor Linden and Ryan Kesler fill out the centre position.

But it is at right wing where things are really crowded.

Five of the top goal-scorers in franchise history are long-time right wingers: No. 4 Stan Smyl, No. 5 one-of-a-kind Pavel Bure, No. 6 Tony Tanti, No. 9 Alex Burrows and No. 10 Todd Bertuzzi.

And that’s not counting No. 3 Linden, who played a portion of his career at right wing but is on the all-time team as a centre.

The TSN All-Time 7 Project has been a stickler about slotting players at their authentic positions and not positions of convenience – for instance, highly regarded centres being moved to the wing for the sake of getting them on teams – but there has been a measure of latitude for the checking line.

The left-shooting Burrows is an example of that: he had four straight 20-plus goal seasons playing right wing........

© TSN


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