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Beautiful British Columbia is home to an NHL franchise that was founded in 1945 as part of the Pacific Coast Hockey League. The Vancouver Canucks spent seven years in the PCHL before switching to the WHA for the next 18 years. A complicated problem that the NHL was facing got its solution in the form of a new expansion franchise coming to Vancouver. The Canucks were purchased out of the WHA and moved into the NHL for the 1970 season.
Like most new teams, the Canucks failed to make the playoffs in their first several seasons and then, once they did make it to the postseason, they could not break out beyond the preliminary round. 1982 proved different, however, with the Canucks surging all the way to the finals before being swept by the New York Islanders, amidst their dynastic run.
Vancouver would not be back to the finals for another 12 years when they would face off against another New York team in the Rangers. The epic series went a full seven games before the Rangers prevailed on their home ice in game seven, ending their 54 year Stanley Cup drought and making Vancouver continue to wait to hoist hockey’s biggest prize.
Fans in Vancouver waited another 17 seasons to the see their Canucks reach the Finals again. 2011 saw the fast and talented team match up with the Boston Bruins. Again, the series went to seven games and, again, the Canucks could not find a way to come out on top as Boston won its first Stanley Cup since 1972.
Despite the play of some great Canucks legends over the years, the franchise is still looking for its first Championship. Still stinging from the loss to the Bruins, the Canucks have only totaled three postseason wins over the last seven years. They were unable to make the playoffs in the last three years.
Clearly looking for a new direction, management placed the team in the hands of Travis Green. Getting his first year of NHL coaching experience behind the bench for Vancouver, Green led the team to a record of 31-40-11. Though the result was disappointing, the future is still uncertain in Vancouver and a massive change is underway. His team’s veteran leadership duo, the Sedin twins, retired at the end of the 2017-2018 season. Henrik and Daniel will not be on the Canucks roster for the first time since the year 2000. No player has been selected as of yet to become the next Canucks captain.
Winger Brock Boesner would like to see more responsibility thrown his way as he tied for the most points on the team last year with 55. Bo Horvat is also determined more than ever help elevate his club. Young talent in Brandon Sutter and Sven Baertschi are eager to take on a bigger role for the team this year. Additionally, the Canucks have some veteran talent on their roster in Loui Eriksson, and Alexander Edler. Swedish goaltender Jacob Markstrom aims to keep the scoring low for the opposition and give his club a chance in every contest. It will be interesting to see how the pieces come together under in Green’s second year as coach in Vancouver. Fans in British Columbia are hopeful that things will play out well and bring this team back to the playoffs for a deep run. Adding Tanner Pearson at the trade deadline from Pittsburgh could boost their offense and help them make the cut for the postseason tournament.
Vancouver has had the pleasure of enjoying the play of a number of players with world-class talent. Among them are Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Pavel Bure, Trevor Linden, Roberto Luongo, Markus Naslund, Stan Smyl, Mattis Ohlund, and Kirk McLean. To find out more about the Vancouver Canucks and their history click here.