Vancouver Canucks

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The Vancouver Canucks play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference.

The Canucks joined the league in 1970 as an expansion team along with the Buffalo Sabres (the 13th and 14th teams to join). In its NHL history, the team has advanced twice to the Stanley Cup Finals but lost both times (to the New York Islanders in 1982 and the New York Rangers in 1994).

Despite its location on the west coast, Vancouver was ill-advisedly placed in the strong East Division (while Philadelphia was in the Western Division, and Atlanta was placed in the West when it joined 2 years later).for its first four seasons. The Canucks played respectably, it failed to make the playoffs during these early years.

Realignment for the 1974–75 season placed the Canucks in the new Smythe Division, and they responded with their first winning record, finishing first in the division. However, their first playoff series was against the Montreal Canadiens, who beat them in five games. The Canucks again posted a winning record and made the playoffs the next year, but lost to the New York Islanders in a two-game preliminary series. Vancouver did not have another winning season for sixteen seasons (including an improbable Cup run in 1982). For most of that time, however, they were much more competitive than their record indicated; they only missed the playoffs six times.

In 1982, the Canucks made the Stanley Cup Finals with a combined 11–2 record in series against the Calgary Flames, Los Angeles Kings, and Chicago Blackhawks in the first 3 rounds. However, in the finals they were unable to continue their Cinderella run as they were swept in four games by the heavily-favoured defending champion New York Islanders. That season would prove to be the last one in which Vancouver won a playoff series until 1992.

The Canucks slipped back into mediocrity for the rest of the 1980s, making the playoffs only four times for the rest of the decade. With Pat Quinn brought in as GM in 1988, the Canucks rose to prominence in the early 1990s. Led by players such as new captain Trevor Linden, goalie Kirk McLean, and forward Pavel Bure, the Canucks won consecutive regular-season division titles in 1992 and 1993, though both years they were eliminated from the playoffs (by the Oilers and Kings, respectively.)

In 1994 the Canucks made their second trip to the Stanley Cup finals, entering the playoffs as the seventh seed in the renamed Western Conference. Following their victory over the Flames, the Canucks then went on to defeat both the Dallas Stars and Toronto Maple Leafs (both in five games) before staging the second coast-to-coast final, meeting the Presidents’ Trophy-winning New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Finals. Vancouver couldn’t complete their Cinderella run, though they did far better than during the one of 1982, having taken the series all the way to the seventh game, as the Rangers won their first Stanley Cup in 54 years by a score of 3-2.

Since then, Vancouver has made the playoffs 8 times but hasn’t been able to advance past the second round. After acquiring Roberto Luongo in 2006, The Canucks had the franchise goaltender (and future captain) to build around. The Vancouver Canucks have been inconsistent in recent years which has many Canuck fans looking for a change in leadership from their first line. Currently, with the future if the Sedin twins in limbo as free agency looms, the jury is out for next season until some decisions are made for 2009-10.

1st Round Draft Picks

Franchise Scoring Leaders
Year # Player Player
2009 22 Jordan Schroeder Marcus Naslund
2008 10 Cody Hodgson
Trevor Linden
2007 25 Patrick White Stan Smyl
2006 14 Michael Grabner Thomas Gradin
2005 10 Luc Bourdon Pavel Bure
2004 26 Cory Schneider Tony Tanti
2003 23 Ryan Kesler Daniel Sedin*
2002 Traded pick Henrik Sedin*
2001 16 R.J. Umberger Todd Bertuzzi
2000 23 Nathan Smith Don Lever