NHL on TSN selects 40th anniversary All-Canucks team Staff

10/20/2010 9:36:31 PM

It has been four decades since NHL hockey arrived on Canada's West Coast with the birth of the expansion Vancouver Canucks. As the team celebrates its 40th anniversary season, the NHL on TSN presents its All-Canucks Team, as chosen by long-time team broadcaster Jim Robson.

The All-Canucks top line consists of the only three players to have had their numbers retired by the team: wingers Markus Naslund and Stan Smyl along with centre Trevor Linden.

Naslund, who played for the Canucks from 1995 to 2008, is the team's all-time leader in both goals (346), and points (756).

Smyl, affectionately known as "Steamer" by Canucks fans, is the team's longest-serving captain and was part of the Canucks team that made their first Stanley Cup appearance in 1982.

Linden was the heart and soul of the club of the '90s. He was captain from 1990-97, and is still the franchise leader in total games played (1,140). Linden was instrumental in the Canucks' Cup run in 1994.

The second line consists of two current Canucks stars, Henrik and Daniel Sedin, and one of the team's most exciting scoring threats of the 1990's, Pavel Bure. Last year Henrik became the first Canuck to capture the Art Ross Trophy as the league's top scorer and the Hart Trophy as league MVP.

Daniel Sedin has been just as influential as his brother. Drafted one slot ahead of Henrik in 1999, Daniel is fifth on the team's all-time scoring list, just behind his brother. Bure was known as "The Russian Rocket" for his great speed and electrifying play. He led the league in goals scored in 1993-94 with 60, which was his second straight year netting 60 in a season. Bure also won the Calder Trophy in 1991-92.

The third line features two stars from the '80s and one from the '70s. Thomas Gradin, who played from 1978-86, centres Tony Tanti (1982-90) and Don Lever (1972-80).

Gradin was a consistent 20-goal scorer and is remembered for recording 19 points in 17 playoff games during the team's 1982 Stanley Cup run.

The diminutive Tanti, who the Canucks picked up in a trade with Chicago in 1982, was a steady scoring threat and averaged close to 40 goals for five of his eight seasons with the team.

Lever served as the Canucks' captain from 1977-79 and scored 20 goals six times with Vancouver, including a career-high 38 in 1974-75.

Patrik Sundstrom, Greg Adams, and Todd Bertuzzi round out the forward group as the fourth line. Sundstrom, who played five seasons for the Canucks, scored 20 or more goals in four of them, including 38 goals and 91 points in 1983-84. Adams had five seasons of 20-plus goals for the Canucks and is remembered for his clutch scoring during the team's second Cup run. Bertuzzi was known around the league as an intimidating power forward with an impressive scoring touch. He set career highs in goals (46), assists (51) and points (97) in 2002-03.

The top defensive pairing matches a talented puck moving D-man, Mattias Ohlund, with one of the team's toughest players of all-time, Harold Snepsts.

Ohlund, who was counted on to quarterback Vancouver's power play, recorded 325 points in 11 seasons with the team. The total is still tops all-time among Vancouver defencemen.

Snepsts played 12 seasons with the Canucks, including the team's first Cup run, and is fourth all-time in penalty minutes with 1,446.

Two offensive defencemen from different generations, Jyrki Lumme and Dennis Kearns, combine to form the second defensive pairing.

Lumme, who played for the Canucks from 1989-98, and Kearns, who played from 1971-81, are tied for second on the team's all-time scoring list for defenceman with 321 points each, just four behind Ohlund.

The final defensive pairing matches Doug Lidster, who played 10 seasons with the team, and Ed Jovanovski, who played seven and now skates for the Phoenix Coyotes.

Lidster was a mainstay on the power play during his time with Vancouver, anchoring the unit for most of his ten seasons.

Jovanovski, acquired from the Panthers in 1998 as part of the Bure trade, was known by fans as "Jovo Cop" for his tough play. He played his best hockey with the Canucks, and was selected to play on two Canadian Olympic teams during his time with Vancouver, including the 2002 gold-medal winning squad.

In goal is Kirk McLean, the team's winningest goalie, and the Canucks' current netminder, Roberto Luongo. McLean led the NHL in wins (38) and shutouts (five) in 1992 and backstopped the Canucks during their Cup run two years later.

Luongo, another trade acquisition from Florida, has backstopped the Canucks for the past five seasons. Luongo's strong play led to him being named team captain from 2008-10.