Vancouver Canucks: Presenting the franchise’s Mount Rushmore

Next2 of 5Prev
Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

4. Markus Naslund

Ahead of the 1996 trade deadline, the Canucks acquired Markus Naslund in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins, with big forward Alek Stojanov going the other way. It turned out to be one of the most lopsided trades in NHL history.

Naslund posted three points for the Canucks in 1995-96 over 10 games, but his stardom was only about to arrive. During the dark days of the late ’90s under head coach Mike Keenan and captian Mark Messier, Naslund kept on trucking and provided Vancouver with plenty of hope for the future.

Naslund scored 21 goals and 41 points in the 1996-97 season, but his real breakout year came in 1998-99 – where he posted 36 goals and 66 points. In 2000-01, Naslund was named captain of the Canucks, just as the franchise began to turn a corner.

Related Story: Canucks: 5 greatest head coaches in franchise history

Captain Naslund guided the Canucks to the playoffs in each of the next four years — forming the franchise-changing “West Coast Express line” alongside Todd Bertuzzi and Brendan Morrison. Naslund enjoyed a career year in 2002-03 with 46 goals and 104 points — narrowly losing out on both the Hart and Art Ross Trophies to fellow Swede Peter Forsberg — who recorded 106 points.

The following season, Naslund led the Canucks to their first division title in 11 years, but they were upset by the Calgary Flames in the opening round of the playoffs. Naslund would play three more years for the Canucks following the 2004-05 lockout before signing with the New York Rangers in 2008.

Naslund finished with 346 goals and 756 points in 884 games over his 12 years with the Canucks, and his No. 19 was retired on Dec. 11, 2010. Naslund is second all-time in goals for the franchise, and third in points. He and Tony Tanti also share the team record for most hat tricks with 10 apiece.

Next: Trevor Linden

Next2 of 5Prev
Use your ← → (arrows) to browse
Load Comments