Canucks Ring of Honour: Who is worthy of “The Ring”

As we all know, the Vancouver Canucks are celebrating their 40th anniversary season in 2010-2011. As part of the celebrations, the club has introduced the Ring of Honour . Four times this season, the Canucks will induct a player from their 40 years of NHL hockey that have made lasting impressions on the team’s fans and the organization.

The first inductee, Orland Kurtenbach, will be inducted this Tuesday, October 26th. Kurtenbach was of course the team’s first captain and played four seasons with the Canucks, before coaching them for two. He is a resident of the lower mainland and an active member of the Vancouver Canucks Alumni.

That leaves three other inductees yet to be named by the team. Who should be the other three?

For me personally, there has to be certain criteria met.

  • You put in several years of service to the team.
  • You represented the team and the city with class.
  • You have contributed to the organization or the city outside of the game.

If it was up to me, I would have no problem including the following three players to round out the four inductions for this season. You may agree or you may have your own list based on your own criteria. Feel free to comment and post your choices below!

Kirk McLean – Goaltender

Kirk McLeanCaptain Kirk McLean played 11 seasons for the Canucks and was one of the main reasons the Canucks went to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1994. “The save” in overtime of game seven against Calgary is still the single biggest save in Canucks history. His 52 save performance in Game 1 of the finals that same year, is still one of the greatest games a goaltender has ever played, period. McLean was one of the last “stand up” goaltenders and his tall frame frustrated many a shooter. His ability to keep cool no matter how much pressure he faced was another asset he possessed.

McLean’s name is prominent amongst the club’s all-time goaltending records:

  • 1st in games played: 516
  • 1st in wins: 211
  • 2nd all-time in shutouts (20)
  • 1st in playoff games played: 68
  • 1st in playoff shutouts: 6
  • 1st in playoff wins: 34
  • 3rd in playoff goals against average: 2.84
  • 2nd in playoff save percentage: .907

McLean has made Vancouver his home and is a business owner in the community and also makes appearances on behalf of the club’s alumni. He’s one of Vancouver’s most recognizable sports figures of all-time.

Freelance hockey writer Joe Pelletier who runs GreatestHockeyLegends.com did this nice feature on McLean.

Harold Snepsts  – Defence

Harold SnepstsAffectionately known as “Haaaaaaarooold” by the Canucks faithful, Harold Snepsts patrolled the blueline for the Canucks for 12 seasons. He wasn’t flashy, and didn’t rack up a lot of points but he was steady and played with a mean streak. He was a two time all-star and was a member of the 1982 team that went to the Stanley Cup Finals.

With his trademark moustache, aggressive play and pleasant demeanour off the ice, Snepsts quickly became a fan favourite deserves to be recognized on the Ring of Honour.

Snepsts has come full circle in his career with the Canucks and is now employed as an amateur scout by the team and  is still to this day one of the most popular Canucks of all-time.

Thomas Gradin

Thomas GradinThomas Gradin  was the Canucks first legitimate star, scoring twenty or more goals seven different times for Vancouver. During the Canucks 1982 playoff run Gradin posted nineteen points. Gradin had his greatest success when teamed with linemates Stan Smyl and Curt Fraser, and the smooth skating swede excited fans with his masterful stick handling and smooth passes. There were many that felt that Gradin never reached his full potential with the club, likely due to the sub-par teams he played with throughout his career when he was basically the offence of the club.

Gradin spent eight seasons as a Canuck and ended his career with the Boston Bruins. Today, Gradin is a key member of the club’s scouting staff with the official title of Associate Head Scout.

So, those are the three players that I would choose and there are many others deserving of the recognition.

Leave us your choices or comments!

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Mashable Awards: Canucks social media efforts are worth your vote!

In today’s age of social media and the popularity of forums such as Twitter and Facebook, it’s important for businesses and individuals that market themselves to get on board and make use of these popular tools. The Vancouver Canucks have made a concentrated effort to build their brand through social media and have a devoted following on both platforms. With contests and events such as “Tweetups” or great ideas like online scavenger hunts, the Canucks have engaged their fan base and built on their already strong brand in the process.

The club has also used the social media community, partnering with quality independent bloggers and building relationships with them.

At the time this was posted the organization had 39,566 followers on Twitter, and 233,972 “Likes” on their Facebook page.

A site called Mashable is the top source for news in social and digital media, technology and web culture. With more than 30 million monthly page views, Mashable is the most prolific news site reporting breaking web news, providing analysis of trends, reviewing new Web sites and services, and offering social media resources and guides.

Mashable is currently holding its 4th annual Mashable Awards and you can nominate the Canucks in the category of  “Must Follow Brand”. Need more inspiration to do so? Last year, the Chicago Blackhawks took top honours in the equivalent category. Now, we’re not going to let the happen again are we Canucks Nation?

Here is the link to vote/nominate the Vancouver Canucks. Just click the link, sign in with your Twitter or Facebook account and you will be able to cast your vote!

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Canucks Captaincy: The players should choose Luongo’s successor.

Well the most talked about Canucks off-season topic has now been officially announced, and to no ones surprise, Roberto Luongo has resigned himself from the captaincy of the club.

First of all, I guess it should be noted I think this was the right decision. I had no problem with Luongo as the captain, and I think for the most part he stood in there, took the questions, and did a decent job. Roberto is a very intense individual. His desire to win and compete at the highest level cannot be denied. By giving up the captaincy he’s giving himself and his team the best chance to do just that.

There is no doubt that Luongo plays in the most mentally demanding position on the team. In my outsiders opinion, I think the added responsibilities of being the captain of an NHL team only added unnecessary stress to his already challenging  job. The media scrums that come with being the captain are a regular occurrence, and on nights when Luongo didn’t play well, or the defense broke down in front of him, it was tough to watch him in those scrums. Your captain should also lead on a nightly basis, and on nights when Luongo didn’t start, or got pulled, that wasn’t an option.

With the mental strain of his position, everything possible should be done to ensure that Roberto only has to concern himself with preparing himself in whatever way he needs to on any given night. Maybe that means he doesn’t speak to the media before games. Yes he’s still a marquee player, and he’ll still be called on to speak to the media, but there will be less expectation to do so and if there is a night where he just doesn’t feel like standing there taking the same old questions, he will have that option.

The captaincy importance itself is a situation fairly unique to hockey with the visible “C” on the jersey, and the fact that only captains are supposed to speak with officials. But I think it’s safe to say that the players themselves realize it takes a team effort to win, and not just a great leader wearing a letter on their jersey. It matters a lot less to them who the captain of the team is. It’s a much bigger deal to the media and the fans, and this decision is better or the team.

So who should be the captain of the Vancouver Canucks? There seems to be two public front runners in Ryan Kesler and Henrik Sedin and both players would be good choices, but I think the players themselves should choose their new captain. I’d even like to see the vote delayed until the preseason comes to an end to let the cream rise to the top. The players in the room know who the leaders are, they should be the ones that elect the successor to Luongo.

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CanucksCorner.com wants you! Talented Canucks fans apply within!

Well, it’s been a bit slow around here, but we can’t ignore it any longer! Hockey season is around the corner, and now’s time to get the place looking good again for our internet Canucks fans.

We’re starting our 14th season of Canucks hockey on the web and we’ve evolved from a  fun project, to message board, to an article based site and finally the fan blog and social media site we have become today.  Maintaining content is a lot of work and that’s where we need your help.

I’m looking for about four talented and aspiring podcasters, video bloggers and writers to help provide content. Since I don’t get paid, I can’t pay you, but if you’re a budding journalism student looking for some experience or just someone that enjoys writing and loves  the Canucks or the NHL CanucksCorner.com, I’d like to hear from you.

We occasionally get access to some cool stuff involving the Canucks and as a writer/podcaster/video blogger there is a chance that you could be part of that from time to time.

The ideal candidate:

  • A knowledgable hockey fan.
  • Posesses good writing skills and attention to grammar and spelling.
  • Has some experience with WordPress. (Not necessary, but an asset).
  • Graphics skills would be an asset.
  • Proficiency with and ownership of Podcasting/Video equipment definitely an asset.
  • Is able to provide at least an article per month.
  • Can help at Canucks.com functions like tweetups and playoff parties.

Sounds like fun? Send me an e-mail telling me a bit about yourself. If you can include a brief paragraph or two with some sample writing that would be great!

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In Case You Missed It: The Sedins On The Hour

This is a little bit of old news, but Daniel and Henrik Sedin recently appeared on the popular CBC talk show “The Hour” hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos. It’s a nice interview and the twins talk about their careers, their fondness for Vancouver, and what it’s like to play hockey in a Canadian city. I thought it would be nice to post it here for people to enjoy.

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