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Sippin’ on a 40 podcast debates the 10 most important Canucks of the decade

You’re beginning to see a barrage of decade wrap-up posts, but this is the only one that matters

San Jose Sharks v Vancouver Canucks - Game Five
VANCOUVER, CANADA - MAY 24: Alex Burrows #14 and goaltender Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrate after defeating the San Jose Sharks 3-2 in double-overtime in Game Five to win the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Arena on May 24, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

How did you feel about our list of the 10 most important Canucks of the decade?

Myself and Sippin’ on a 40 host Kyle Bhawan debated the rankings that came out last week, during the 100th episode on the Nucks Misconduct Network.

Should Quinn Hughes be higher on this list? Does Roberto Luongo’s playoff collapses make him a candidate to be bumped down the list? Did I leave anyone off who belonged on the list?

Listen in to the latest episode of Sippin’ on a 40 full of decade flashbacks and player debates.

In case you didn’t catch the original list, here it is below.

10. Brock Boeser

Our list starts with perhaps Jim Benning’s best draft pick of the decade. Yes, you will see players on this list more valuable than Boeser, but the fact that a player of his calibre was selected 23rd overall was a major win for this organization.

Boeser already looks like he could be one of the best snipers in team history. His 69 (nice) career goals in 166 games as a Canucks has him sitting at 0.41 goals-per-game. To put that into perspective, only Alexander Mogilny (0.44), Tony Tanti (0.47), and Pavel Bure (0.59) have a better rate in team history.

The Burnsville, Minnesota is arguably the Canucks’ best pure sniper since Markus Naslund, and he’s going to be counted upon to score goals in Vancouver for years to come.

9. Bo Horvat

After a certain coach called this team “stale” back in 2014, it was then 19-year-old Bo Horvat who kicked off the youth movement in Vancouver.

Fast-forward to five years later, and Horvat now leads this young core as captain of the Vancouver Canucks. He’s had to be patient with a team that tumbled to the bottom of the standings over the past four seasons, but he’s cemented his position as a part of the solution moving forward.

Although some might still think of him as a young guy, it’s easy to forget just how long Horvat has been with the team. He has over 400 career games played, and sits fifth among all Canucks with 242 points this decade.

8. Quinn Hughes

June 22nd, 2018 might have been the Canucks luckiest day of the 2010’s. Sure, their first round selections in 2015 and 2017 were memorable, but Jim Benning and company admitted that they were surprised that Quinn Hughes fell to them at seventh overall.

You can’t blame them for the pleasant shock. Hughes is already one of the most dynamic playmaking defenceman in the NHL today, and he’s not even halfway through his rookie season. Hughes has already transformed the power play in Vancouver, and as a result he’s tied for sixth among points from a defenceman this season with Brent Burns. Expect to see Hughes near the top of that leaderboard throughout his career.

You might have heard Kyle Bhawan call him the best defenceman in Canucks history on Sippin’ on a 40. Even if you think he’s not there yet, it won’t be long until that selection is unanimous among Canucks fans.

7. Alex Edler

Although sometimes a divisive player in Vancouver, Alex Edler has been a rock on this team for more than a decade. He’s also the only player on this list to play on every Canucks incarnation throughout the 2010’s.

The decade could be considered a bit of a roller-coaster for Edler. He entered the 2010’s as a 23-year-old defenceman entering his prime. “Eddie the Eagle” was a physical force for the Canucks when they were making the playoffs, and he was a playmaker on offence too. He has his career-best season in 2011-12, when he made the All-Star game and finished the season with 11 goals and 49 points.

After a drop-off in performance while battling injury issues during some down years, Edler seems to have turned back the clock in his early 20’s. Travie Green continues to play him like he’s Nicklas Lidstrom, but Edler has been scoring at a 40-point pace since the beginning of last season.

6. Ryan Kesler

The departure of Ryan Kesler might have left a sour taste in the mouths of Canucks fans, but there’s no doubt that the Livonia. Michigan native was one of the most dominant two-way players to ever suit up for Vancouver.

His legendary performance against the Nashville Predators during the 2011 playoffs will forever be remembered in Canucks lore, and so will his entire performance that season when he potted a career-high 41 goals.

Kesler was an absolute warrior for this team during his time here. He still sits sixth in points (219) from a Canuck this decade despite being only 11th in games played (294).

5. Roberto Luongo

The recently retired Roberto Luongo will go down as one of the greatest (if not the greatest) Canucks goaltender in team history. After being acquired by the Canucks in 2006, Luongo spent eight seasons in Vancouver providing elite goaltending that has been absent in the market throughout most of the team’s history.

Many Canucks fans like to remember Luongo for his playoff collapses, but those fans casually leave out some of his best playoff performances. Without his save against Chicago during Round One of the 2011 Quarterfinals, perhaps the history of the Canucks is altered dramatically.

He’s not just the statistical leader among the 11 Canucks goalies to play a game this decade. (Can you guess them all without clicking the link?), but he’s the franchise leader in both wins and shutouts as well.

4. Alex Burrows

Should I just leave the dragon slaying goal here and call it a day?

This was easily the most important goal of the decade, if not in Canucks history (sorry, Pavel Bure).

Every Canucks fans is well aware of Burrows’s unheralded story of making the NHL as an undrafted player. Not only did he do that, but he went onto become one of the most successful and beloved Vancouver Canucks of all time.

Since the calendar hit January 1st, 2010, Burrows sits fourth on the Canucks with 281 points, and his 143 goals trails only Daniel Sedin. He’s also fourth in points (29) and second in goals (15) for playoff production this decade.

3. Elias Pettersson

2016-17 was arguably the most forgettable season of the decade for Canucks fans. Willie Desjardins was playing out the string with his ultra-conservative coaching style, and there was next to no reason to watch this hockey club.

The fortunes of this franchise were altered dramatically (even if we didn’t all realize it) on June 23rd, 2017 when the Canucks drafted the lanky Elias Pettersson at fifth overall. Just two years later, it’s evident that the Canucks snagged the best forward, if not the best player, in that entire draft.

Pettersson became the second ever Canuck to win the Calder Trophy after an incredible rookie season, and he looks just as dominant in his sophomore year. Not only is he a wizard with the puck, but he’s an absolute competitor in his own zone as well. Despite playing in Vancouve for a mere season and a half this decade, Pettersson is already 10th in game-winning goals, ninth in power play goals and eighth in power play points.

While the Canucks young core is promising, the weight of the franchise rests on the shoulders of young Pettersson. He might not be the most important Canuck of this decade, but he’s going to be the franchise’s most important player for years to come.

2. Daniel Sedin

It’s always hard to rank one Sedin over the other, but it’s clear that the two best players in Canucks history were also the franchise’s most important of the decade. In particular, Daniel is miles ahead as the leader in a number of categories such as goals, power play goals and game-winning goals. He also leads the Canucks in power play points with 199, two ahead of his brother.

More importantly, he also leads the Canucks in all those aforementioned categories in the playoffs as well (except for power play points, where Henrik overtakes his brother). He was the Canucks most consistent goal-scorer in all situations while this team was at their peak.

It’s too bad that Daniel was robbed of the Hart Trophy in 2011, when he should have beat Corey Perry, but I digress. He still nabbed an Art Ross for his performance during the Canucks’ best season in franchise history.

He even ended off his illustrious career in Vancouver with a bang, by scoring the overtime winner in his final home game.

1. Henrik Sedin

The leader of this franchise through their best stretch in team history absolutely deserves the nod as the most important Canuck this decade.

It’s hard to start off the decade better than Henrik did. He was awarded both the Art Ross and Hart Trophy after his 112 point season in 2009-10. That point total in a single-season wasn’t even surpassed until last year, when a couple young superstars surpassed that mark — nine seasons later.

His playoff success is also well revered, as he finishes as the Canucks leader in playoff points for the decade as well.

What makes the Sedin twins so important to the Canucks this decade doesn’t just come from their on-ice success in the regular season and playoffs, but because they set the tone for Horvat to become the leader he is today for the Canucks.

“They’ve probably been the most influential people that I’ve ever played with,” Bo told TSN in 2018.

It took the Sedin twins yeras to earn respect around the league, but they will go down as not just the to best Canucks this decade, but two of the best Canucks of all time, and two of the best hockey players to suit up this century.