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If you could time-travel to past and reverse one dumb decision

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#91 VanNuck


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Posted 10 March 2013 - 08:16 PM

Top four dumb mistakes I would have reversed:

4) Not trade Doug Lidster for John Vaniesbrook in 1993.

This was one of the dumbest trades of all time - Vancouver gave up Lidster for a goalie just to protect both Whitmore and McLean in the expansion draft. Essentially, it was like trading Lidster for Whitmore... it just doesn't make sense. Lidster was the Nucks' best blueliner then (one of the best of all-time in fact). He was certainly not worth a backup goaltender by any stretch of imagination.

Guess what? He wound up getting traded to New York, who went on to beat Vancouver to the Cup. Had Lidster been with Vancouver in 1994, the narrow scales may have been tipped the other way.

3) Not traded for Ballard, kept Mitchell instead.

Even if this path didn't lead to a Cup victory, one way or another, you could almost have been sure that the Nucks would have been better off with this path. Ballard was utterly useless back in 2011, that was one of several matters that sunk the Nucks in the finals.

Without the trade and with a re-signing of Mitchell:

Even if Mitchell sustained a concussion, they still had Rome in the bay, ready for action. Until then, Mitchell would've been far more effective than Ballard.

Against the Bruins in the final round of playoffs, with all the injuries and the Sedins' being silenced, Bernier and Grabner may have made enough difference to stem the tide against them with some additional scoring depth.

2) Not woken up Gretzky past midnight.

Gretzky had a Canuck contract on hand, but just needed to sleep on it. Had he signed on then...

The Nucks would've had a top six that could've looked like this:


I'll stop right there and won't even to mention the defense, bottom six, or goaltenders, all of whom are substantial enough (or could be improved with some small trades). But a top-six like that alone looks strikingly similar to what the Oilers had in the 1980s, perhaps even better. Gretzky was slowing down, but still had vision, intelligence, and puck skills, and slotted between speedy, finesse wingers like Mogilny and Naslund, all he has to do is call the plays and make timely passes to a streaking winger... and goal! He (or they) could hit the 200-point mark again, flying right through any defense like water.

Linden's second line won't be second-rate. With the high-flying Bure, along with Gretzky's influence, I would expect them to, at best, outscore Messier's line with the Oilers.

With offense like this, the Nucks can kill the dead-puck era easily, win the Cup in 1997. With the right trades and decisions, form a dynasty that could actually win Cups for years on end. Bourque would've come here to win the Cup. Perhaps even Kariya and Selanne.

1) Not trade for Barry Pederson

This is the grand prize winner by far. Most people bemoan losing Cam Neely who could've been great here, but it was trading a 1987 first-rounder (third overall) that really did the big damage.

The first rounder turned out to be Glen Wesley, who was later traded for three picks. The trade later on panned out Johnny Boychuk, Milan Lucic, and Nathan Horton, three key players responsible for ultimately helping defeat Vancouver in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals.

Perhaps the biggest damage by far: selected 15th overall in that draft was a guy named Joe Sakic. I am almost without doubt even back then that Vancouver would certainly have taken Sakic third overall, given not only his potential, but his BC-background.

Instead, he winds up in Quebec, and becomes the nucleus of a Colorado Avalanche powerhouse that dominates the entire league and was especially dominant over Vancouver. Canucks stood virtually no chance against the Avalanche who massacred them in two playoff meetings (1996 and 2001) and between those years, the regular-season head-to-head meetings alone kept the Nucks in the league basement (or at least out of playoffs) and the Avalanche atop the league. Even with the Canucks' resurgence in 2002, Joe Sakic continued to be a thorn in their side, dominating the Canucks in head-to-head matches, even if his team finished lower in the standings overall.

Had Sakic been drafted in Vancouver, I am certain the Canucks would have had a dynasty of their own (provided they also made more good decisions). They would have risen up and eventually won the Cup in 1992 (wresting it from Lemieux and the Penguins) and repeated in 1993. That means in 1994, if we faced Messier and the Rangers, we would do so as the defending champions (and would've even beaten them). Who knows how many more Cups Vancouver would've won after that.

#92 Raoul Duke

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 08:25 PM

Draft Jagr. Pretty obvious.

That, or holy gaaaaaaaaaaaaawd do NOT sign Mark Messier.

And signing Gretzky woulda been sweet.


Total control now. Tooling along the main drag on a Saturday night in Vegas. Two good old boys in a fire-apple red convertible. Stoned. Ripped. Twisted. Good people. 

#93 VanNuck


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Posted 10 March 2013 - 08:29 PM


1) Convince Labbat's and the NHL to move the Oakland Seals to Vancouver in 1968. The Vancouver Seals?
Posted Image

Trade up to Buffalo's first round pick in 1970, then keep the 1st overall pick in 1971, and have Guy Lafleur and Gilbert Perreault as the cornerstones of the franchise.

Laughable that people mentioned "mistakes" that are beyond the Nucks' control. Nobody could've stopped Messier from breaking Linden's ribs - but that didn't stop Linden from scoring two goals in game 7 and getting first-star recognition despite losing the Cup.

Nobody could've stopped Moore from hitting Nazzy over the head.

And the Sabres' first overall pick came by virtue of a spinning wheel. Had the wheel come up 10 instead of 11 (or anywhere from 1-10), the Nucks would've had the first overall, but given the quality of their coaching staff then, I don't know how much difference that could've made.

#94 Captain-Canuck2562


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Posted 10 March 2013 - 08:50 PM

It could be either from management, coaches , or players.

Mine would have to be going back & drafting Jaromir Jagr instead of Peter Nedved in the 1990 draft. Jagr went just a couple spots later. We would've won the cup in '94 for sure. Bure, Linden, Jagr, Captain Kirk destroy Messier

Not firing AV at the end of the LA series last year

#95 Gollumpus


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Posted 10 March 2013 - 11:22 PM

Your logic doesn't make sense if you are trying to defend MG.

Not looking to defend Gillis. I am stating what I believe would likely be the situation had the Canucks not drafted Hodgson.

IF fans will be shouting about a mistake in not drafting Hodgson years from now, that would mean Hodgson would have developed into a consistent star player. So, just like fans shout about the Canucks not drafting Jagr or Brodeur or Kopitar etc... they'd have a case for their upper-case, so to speak no?

On the other hand, people were yelling about Grabner a couple of seasons ago. Now, not so much. There were also some who were very high on Shirokov (remember him?). Hodgson is having a good season (and good on him). It remains to be seen if he can continue to produce.

And if people were shouting about Hodgson, it could indeed mean that he had developed into a consistant star player. Or, it could also mean that they merely would have preferred that the Canucks had drafted Hodgson, even if the team had picked Eberle, or Gardiner, or Carlson or any other player. And if Hodgson was merely average in his play with his other team, they would believe that he would have been so much better had he been here rather than the prospect who was selected.

People like to speculate about these sorts of things, and these things would always seem to work out in the best possible way.

Or another way....What if we had had a player in the past, say his name was Cam Neely, and he was still adusting to the new city, team system and wasn't being used properly and so this reflected his production on the ice. The management started doubting his value, his parents and agent may have even been grumbling about his ice time (we'll never know)...so he was traded for Barry Pederson. Harry Neale may have been overheard saying he had spent most of his time dealing with the "Neely issue" and he was just fed up.

Interesting speculation, however, the only valid comparison between the two situations is that each of the players in question would (IMO) very likely not develop here in Vancouver. In Hodgson's case, he was a 2nd line center on a team that needed a 3rd line center, and since he could not play that game he was expendable. Whether trading him for Kassian was the right move or not remains to be seen. In the short term, it does look like both teams got some value, but perhaps Buffalo got a bit more.

Whether Vancouver won or lost the deal is still an open question. What isn't at question (once again, in my opinion) is that Hodgson was going to be traded.

Years later on a Canucks board, fans use all caps and shout about how it was one of the worst trades ever. Can you blame them?

Yup, it doesn't look so good atm. This being said, there's still a lot of hockey left in each of these guys' careers.


Edited by Gollumpus, 11 March 2013 - 05:41 AM.

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