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edlerstatesman

Is Mattias Ohlund the best Canucks defenseman ever?

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I say so.

He wasn't the flashiest, and he didn't put up the most raw points year in and year out, but he was the backbone of the Canucks' defense for a decade, and his reliability and toughness helped make our team a contender. The stability he provided for the Canucks' back end has only been matched by Dan Hamhuis (and maybe Willie Mitchell). I can't imagine how good he could have been if not for that horrific eye injury early in his career.

However I do think Hamhuis or maybe Edler will eventually take the title.

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Öhlund was such an amazing D-man! Sort of like Hedman, both were really hyped in Sweden, both are from the northern parts and both great people.

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Yes. I'd also reference my blog post on a Jim Robson interview wherein he states the same thing but I'm too lazy.

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I'm going to go ahead and say that we have had a better D-man at some point in our history...but I'm just guessing.

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Man, imagine what could have been if it weren't for the eye injury.....

But yes, in an era where Canucks had NO defense whatsoever, Ohlund stood like a rock.

Hammer might get a close nod at second, but I'm excited to see what Garrison can do too.

Also obligatory mention to the Moustache of Babych and Dana Murzyn the Pylon :P

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Jiri Slegr was the best Canucks defensemen.

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He was undoubtedly a quality defenseman! Some would take Jovo over him when they were both in their primes... but Ohlund was definitely I think our top D-man of that era. "EVER" though? I'm not sure about that. I'm actually a pretty big fan of Hamhuis, and while I don't think he's proven himself as much as Ohlund ever did yet, I think he has elite shutdown D skill that the Canucks haven't seen since Ohlund himself was patrolling our blue line to shut down the other team's top guys :)

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He was undoubtedly a quality defenseman! Some would take Jovo over him when they were both in their primes... but Ohlund was definitely I think our top D-man of that era. "EVER" though? I'm not sure about that. I'm actually a pretty big fan of Hamhuis, and while I don't think he's proven himself as much as Ohlund ever did yet, I think he has elite shutdown D skill that the Canucks haven't seen since Ohlund himself was patrolling our blue line to shut down the other team's top guys :)

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It's not hard to say "ever" when talking about the Canucks. Our most notable defensemen before Ohlund were Jyrki Lumme, Doug Lidster, Harold Snepsts and Garth Butcher. We didn't have much of a history before the Bure years.

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I say so.

He wasn't the flashiest, and he didn't put up the most raw points year in and year out, but he was the backbone of the Canucks' defense for a decade, and his reliability and toughness helped make our team a contender. The stability he provided for the Canucks' back end has only been matched by Dan Hamhuis (and maybe Willie Mitchell). I can't imagine how good he could have been if not for that horrific eye injury early in his career.

However I do think Hamhuis or maybe Edler will eventually take the title.

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I'm in my mid-20s so I don't even remember most of those other defensemen. I vaguely remember Lumme growing up. I remember the Canucks game 7 with the Rangers when I was a little boy and everything about that loss, heh.

But yeah, in my time Ohlund was pretty much the elite shut down D-man for Vancouver. He was great at his job and I liked how he threw big hits occasionally... he reminds me of Hamhuis quite a bit in style actually. Hamhuis prefers his hip-checks to thundering Ohlund body checks, but still, similar style.

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Jovo was a very solid D man and so was Babych, but I cant take away from Ohlund he was definatly in the top ranks of best Canuck defense in my books.

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I'm the same age, but I have read a lot about historical Canucks. I used to even collect old Canucks magazines from the 70s and 80s. Bought a box of a couple hundred from an antique store once. That was a fun winter.

Anyways, I think Hamhuis has the potential to become better than Ohlund because he's a better skater and obviously far more durable.

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I'm sad we let him go, but the eye injury was not something he could come back from, and im afraid that neither can Malhotra... We should try to trade him this year for someone else!

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i think ohlund is the best defensman in naslund era but now I think edler will become the best.

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He was the "Best" in the sense that his tenure with the Canucks is one of the longest. He isn't the most gifted offensively, but that's not to say he had no offensive skills, just his role was to defend first, freeing others for more offensive roles (Jovanovski, Sopel, and even Krajicek and Baumgartner).

Ohlund's playing style is based on physicality. He doesn't just neutralizes plays like Mitchell, Lidstrom, Hamhuis, etc.... he manhandles the opposition. He will crush opponents along the boards, make huge open-ice hits, and even involve himself with some sparing.

I always believed that MG made a huge mistake not re-signing Ohlund. It's true that against quick skating teams like Chicago, he can easily be exposed, but for tight-checking/grinding series, like against the Blues, Ducks, Dallas, Flames, it's where he is truly able to shine. Just do a little youtube search of TBL against the Bruins and you'll see how effective a defenseman like him is. If Mattias was part of the 2011 Canucks, I would say the Canucks would have won it all.

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Best defenceman, IMO, to ever suit up as a Canuck was Paul Reinhart. He could skate, pass, shoot, score, play physically. It's too bad we didn't get hime earlier and that he couldn't stay longer. He retired at age 29 because of a back injury that he couldn't shake. 114 points in 131 games as a Canuck. Not too shabby. A career ended far too soon.

Ohly is a close second, for me. Not as prolific offensively, but, way above average defensively and moved the puck out of his zone well. 11 years in VanCity sums it all up, for me. So glad he played here in his prime.

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