The Vancouver Canucks are an NHL franchise in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference.
The Canucks joined the NHL in 1970, making the jump from professional minor hockey to the pros. The Canucks played their first seasons at a disadvantage, playing in the East Division despite their west coast location. In 1974, the Canucks made the playoffs for the first time. Unfortunately, after making the playoffs again in 1975, the Canucks posted sixteen straight losing seasons. In 1982, despite finishing with a losing record yet again, the Canucks managed to make the playoffs and upset a number of opponents on the way to their first Stanley Cup appearance. They met the New York Islanders, who were in the process of building one of the great hockey dynasties, and were swept in 4 games.
The Canucks hired Pat Quinn as their general manager in the 1990s, and the additions of key players like Cliff Ronning, Trevor Linden and Pavel Bure gave the Canucks their first pool of solid talent to play with. In 1994, the Canucks made their second Stanley Cup run, beating Calgary, Dallas and Toronto on the way to facing the New York Rangers. In a thrilling seven game series, the Canucks battled back but fell one goal short of winning the Cup, as New York won their first Cup in over 50 years.
Following this tough defeat, the Canucks finished out the ‘90s with a number of decent seasons, none successful enough to draw any major attention. The addition of Todd Bertuzzi, Brendan Morrison and Markus Naslund would give the Canucks the firepower they would need to make another playoff run at the turn of the century. While Vancouver seemed to play well enough in the regular season, they could never convert that success to the postseason, and a number of early playoff exits haunted the Canucks. After the lockout, the Canucks were expected to be one of the top teams in the new NHL. Unfortunately, star forward Todd Bertuzzi seemed unable to return to playing the way he did before he injured Colorado player Steve Moore with a cheap shot in 2004, and he was traded to Florida for franchise goalie Roberto Luongo. With Luongo in net, the Canucks were able to make the playoffs in 2007, beating the Dallas Stars in the first round, but losing to the Cup champion Anaheim Ducks in the second. 2007-08 was another disappointment for the Canucks, as they failed again to make the playoffs.
Vancouver plays out of the General Motors Place which seats 18,630.
Stanley Cups won: none
Notable Players: Andy Bathgate, Todd Bertuzzi, Pavel Bure, Geoff Courtnall, Igor Larionov, Trevor Linden, Jyrkki Lumme, Roberto Luongo, Mark Messier, Alexander Mogilny, Brendan Morrison, Markus Naslund, Cam Neely, Mattias Norstrom, Mattias Ohlund, Cliff Ronning, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Stan Smyl, Tony Tanti, Gump Worsley