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Greatest Pre-NHL Canuck

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Greatest Pre-NHL Canuck?  

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Bathgate was a keeper. A lot of legends here, though I think Fontinato is most famous for getting his face filled in by Howe.

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7 minutes ago, Captain Canuck #12 said:

I voted Esposito, but had no idea that 'French Connection' Rene Robert was a pre-NHL Canuck! He is so much younger than the others.  How was this possible??  Do tell Biestra, do tell!

 

Wish I had the fine print details, but all I can say is we caught him on his way up to the NHL instead of on his way out of it.

 

The French Connection and the Triple Crown Line...probably my two favorite names for hockey lines and maybe the two best lines ever.  And in both cases, two of the three have unfairly slipped a little under the waves of history.

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1 hour ago, Captain Canuck #12 said:

I voted Esposito, but had no idea that 'French Connection' Rene Robert was a pre-NHL Canuck! He is so much younger than the others.  How was this possible??  Do tell Biestra, do tell!

From what my research tells me, he was already ripping it up in the CHL and AHL and only played five games for Vancouver in it's last WHL season in 1969-70 when he was about 19. He was young before the NHL draft was very big, so he went undrafted.

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No disrespect to the names already offered but this might be of interest to some of the old timers on these pages.

 

When I was but a wee lad in the 1970's, pouring endlessly over my old NHL Yearbooks (used to be able to send away to the Sun Life Building in Montreal for free copies), I was always intrigued by the name Brit Selby. 

 

Maybe it was the name. Didn't know any Brits at all and that last name seemed like it was missing an H in it which always bothered me. But if you were like me, you were fascinated that this young Toronto Maple Leaf winger had won the Calder Trophy the year before Bobby Orr did in 1967 and then seemed to have a career that was overwhelming forgetful. As kids we all worshipped Bobby Orr and assumed his greatness just rubbed off on everybody he touched, even Brit Selby, whose name appeared below him in the list of all time Calder trophy winners.

 

Imagine my surprise when, many years after with such information more readily accessible, I discover that the same Brit Selby, Calder Trophy winner in 1966, played for the WHL Vancouver Canucks in 1967! Since the Canucks were not affiliated with Toronto it might take some sleuthing as to why he ended up here, though he did not play a full season's worth of games that year and could have been injured. I'm sure somebody knows the whole story. 

 

Not the greatest Pre-Canuck, but circumstantially, one of the strangest.

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34 minutes ago, Dumb Nuck said:

Pondered voting Bower but just had to go Cherry, me and political correctness do not get along, I love Don.

 

How he's not yet in the Hall of Fame is completely beyond me.  They couldn't get Gary Bettman in there fast enough...

 

Are they gonna pull a Pat Burns / Pat Quinn and do it a year or two after he dies.  That seems to be the way.

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3 hours ago, Kevin Biestra said:

 

How he's not yet in the Hall of Fame is completely beyond me.  They couldn't get Gary Bettman in there fast enough...

 

Are they gonna pull a Pat Burns / Pat Quinn and do it a year or two after he dies.  That seems to be the way.

Love him or hate him he is a larger than life personality that has had  as much an impact on hockey as the greatest of superstars. 
 

Me, I love him.

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  • 1 month later...

Certainly, I think of Bathgate and Maloney. Maloney is my choice because of his time both as a player and later as a coach/GM.

 

                                                regards,  G.

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On 5/8/2020 at 12:38 AM, -AJ- said:

Bathgate was a keeper. A lot of legends here, though I think Fontinato is most famous for getting his face filled in by Howe.

Bathgate was the best player on that list.  Probably by a fair margin.  He was a dominant player in the original six era and a powerhouse for the WHL Canucks even at the ripe old age of 37.  He went on to coach the Vancouver Blazers briefly.

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Greatest pre Nhl Canucks players where both from the arguably greatest hockey line ever. The KLM line.

 

Vladimir Krutov, and Igor Larionov.

 

There  pre Nhl careers will never be duplicated ever. They were international beasts and also destroyed Nhl teams when Russian played Nhl teams. Unfortunately Krutov couldn’t adjust to the NHL. Which I must believe was because Krutov was sooo used too Russian players and a Russian system that he knew where all his teammates should be on the ice at all times. So in the NHL Krutov was doing blind passes to nobody Continuously which was his main downfall and also the difference in life culture.

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On 5/8/2020 at 3:19 AM, Kevin Biestra said:

It's perhaps a little known part of Canucks history that they were a dominant team in the old WHL and PCHL before being brought into the NHL as an expansion team in 1970.

 

Some legendary names put on the Canucks jersey and helped them win titles before the team made the big leap to the big league.  Who is the greatest?

Went with Esposito but razor thin between Bathgate and Bower.   Bower is the only goalie other then Broduer to have 600 pro career wins ... if he played all of his games in the NHL I have zero doubt he’d be in the top two or three guys in the conversation for best all-time.   Historians have gone back to 1953 (so far) and his sp was better then Luongo ...where as Espo’s was much better then most of his peers at the time with the exception of Parent and Dryden (also better then most would think - especially as stand up goalies - .919 while on PHI and for Dryden it’s Hasekeqsue...why these guys shared the Vezina’s for a decade - mostly Dryden winning it).   Cool topic. 

 

Heck changed my mind it’s got to be Bower. 

Edited by IBatch
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1 hour ago, RogersTowell said:

Bathgate was the best player on that list.  Probably by a fair margin.  He was a dominant player in the original six era and a powerhouse for the WHL Canucks even at the ripe old age of 37.  He went on to coach the Vancouver Blazers briefly.

Bathgate was a superstar...but so was Bower.   He and my Grandad served together and if he wasn’t sick would have also landed on the beach in Dieppe with him.   Was an AHL superstar ... lied about his age - joined the NHL and toasted his peers in fitness testing as a 33?34?35? year old right until retirement.   Then proceeded to become an NHL superstar.   Without him TO would have a few less cupa.  And he had some stiff competition with Sawchuk largely regarded as the best to ever play goalie...his sp is unreal by those standards only Plante came close...Bower is one of the most interesting players ever.   600 pro wins...like Broduer.    Back then in a six team league you can bet the talent was also superb in other leagues.  

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1 hour ago, HockeyHarry said:

Greatest pre Nhl Canucks players where both from the arguably greatest hockey line ever. The KLM line.

 

Vladimir Krutov, and Igor Larionov.

 

There  pre Nhl careers will never be duplicated ever. They were international beasts and also destroyed Nhl teams when Russian played Nhl teams. Unfortunately Krutov couldn’t adjust to the NHL. Which I must believe was because Krutov was sooo used too Russian players and a Russian system that he knew where all his teammates should be on the ice at all times. So in the NHL Krutov was doing blind passes to nobody Continuously which was his main downfall and also the difference in life culture.

Problem is these guys played for us so don’t count ha ha... imagine Don Cherry with Pat Quin ... well it never happened.   And from this logic we could say Bure and Mogilny count too - both Red Army brats however brief ...

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