The History of Trade is a mini series going through each team’s best and worst trades of all time. Each team has their own history and some may cross over, but the series will try to stick to each team. This article will focus on the Vancouver Canucks trade history, finding the best and worst of all time.
Vancouver Canucks Trade History: Best and Worst Trades of All-Time
The Vancouver Canucks joined the NHL in 1970 as an expansion franchise. There is a long history of trading to go through here for the Canucks. In their history, the Canucks have had mild success. The team has won 10 division titles, two presidents trophies and been the Stanley Cup Final three times, failing to win the ultimate prize. The Canucks long history in the NHL means the team has been involved in as many good trades as they have bad ones.
The Canucks have made some very good trades in their history. Then general manager Brian Burke somehow put together a four-team trade during the 1999 NHL draft that allowed them to draft Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin second and third overall. What trade could possibly be better than that? Oh, there is one.
March 20, 1996
Alek Stojanov was the Canucks first round pick in the 1991 NHL draft. Stojanov gained a reputation as a legitimate tough guy in junior hockey. His fearsome reputation was only improved when he pummeled top prospect, Eric Lindros in a fight. Despite his reputation as a fighter, Stojanov had a scoring touch, scoring 25 goals in his draft year.
Unfortunately, Stojanov would never be able to replicate his success in junior. He would only play 62 games with the Canucks before being traded to Pittsburgh in 1996. He faired no better with the Penguins, playing in 45 games over two seasons. After the 1998 season, Stojanov would never play in the NHL again. Stojanov played in 107 NHL games, recording two goals, five assists and 222 penalty minutes.
Markus Naslund is one of the most revered Vancouver Canucks of all time. Before coming to Vancouver, Naslund was playing in Pittsburgh. For some reason, he never fit in with the Penguins. His first two seasons he split time between the NHL and IHL. Frustrated by his situation in Pittsburgh, Naslund demanded a trade during the 1994-95 season. The Penguins and Naslund worked out their issues and in 1995 he was a full-time member of the Penguins. Still, he was bouncing all over the lineup in Pittsburgh. Frustrated with his inconsistent play, the Penguins sent Naslund to Vancouver in one of the most lopsided trades in NHL history.
In Vancouver, Naslund developed into on the NHL’s most gifted players. He earned three consecutive first-team all-star selections, appeared in five all-star games and finish runner-up for the Hart Trophy in 2003. Naslund played 883 games in Vancouver, scoring 346 goals, 410 assists good for 756 points. In his 11 seasons with the Canucks, Naslund scored over 30 goals six times, include three straight seasons of 40 or more goals. He would also serve as team captain for eight years, from 2000-01 to 2007-08. Naslund holds several Canucks records including, hat tricks (10), power play goals (114), and longest-serving captain (8 years). He had his number 19 retired by the Canucks in 2010.
Vancouver acquires Roberto Luongo, Lukas Krajicek, and 2006 sixth-round pick from Florida for Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Allen, and Alex Auld; Vancouver acquires Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan McCabe, and a 1998 third round pick form the Islanders for Trevor Linden; Canucks acquire Cliff Ronning, Sergio Momesso, Geoff Courtnall, and a 1992 fifth round pick from St. Louis for Garth Butcher and Dan Quinn; Vancouver acquire Kirk McLean, Craig Adams, and 1988 second round pick from New Jersey for Patrik Sundstrom, 1988 second round pick, and a 1988 fourth round pick; Vancouver acquires Jyrki Lumme from Montreal for a 1991 second round pick.
The Vancouver Canucks have had their fair share of blunderous trades. There was the mishandling of the Roberto Luongo/Cory Schneider goaltending controversy, which saw both traded. The team also traded away Pavel Bure and Ryan Kesler for less than fair value. Still, there is one trade that towers over all the others.
June 6, 1986
Cam Neely was drafted by the Canucks in the first round of the 1983 draft. Neely spent three seasons in Vancouver, producing well, but only managed to score 20 goals once. One issue was the Canucks were deep on right wing, as Neely was playing behind Stan Smyl and Tony Tanti. Neely did not see much power play time and was playing on a third line. Another issue was then Canucks coach was not impressed with Neely’s defensive game. All of these concerns made Neely available, even though he was only 20 at the time.
In Boston, Neely broke out. He scored 36 goals and 72 points, more than doubling his production from his last season in Vancouver. He would go on to score 50 goals three times in his career with Boston, including 50 goals in 44 games during the 1994 season. Neely would go on to play 10 seasons in Boston. Unfortunately, Neely’s career was cut short because of a condition, myotosis ossificans. The condition developed after a dirty hit by Ulf Samuelsson in the 1991 Whales Conference Finals.
Still, Neely developed into the most dominant and feared power forward of his era for the Bruins. In his 525 games with Boston, Neely scored 344 goals and 590 points, while collecting 921 penalty minutes. Cam Neely was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2005. He also had his number retired by the Bruins in 2004.
Barry Pederson was a hot commodity in the summer of 1986. Still only 25, Pederson has produced two 100 point seasons and two 40 goal season in his young NHL career. The Canucks needed an infusion of offense at the time and pulled the trigger on acquiring Pederson.
In all honesty, the Canucks should have never made this trade. Pederson was recovering from two offseason shoulder surgeries. It seems he was damaged goods. Pederson never produced as he did early in his Boston career. Pederson played three full seasons in Vancouver before being traded to Pittsburgh early on in the 1990-91 season. In Vancouver, Pederson score over 20 goals once and never came close to replicating his success while with the Bruins. Pederson would be out of the NHL by 1992.
Vancouver trades Ryan Kessler and 2015 third round pick to Anaheim for a 2014 first round pick, Luca Sbisa, Nick Bonino, and a 2014 third round pick; Vancouver trade the rights to Craig Janney to St. Louis for Jeff Brown, Bret Hedican, and Nathan LaFayette; Canucks trade Pavel Bure, Bret Hedican, Brad Ference, and a 2000 third round pick to Florida for Ed Jovanovski, Mike Brown, Dave Gagner, Kevin Weekes, and a 2000 first round pick; Vancouver trades Kirk McLean and Martin Gelinas to Carolina for Sean Burke, Enrico Ciccone and Geoff Sanderson; Vancouver trades Cory Schneider to New Jersey for 2013 first round pick; Canucks trade Roberto Luongo and Steven Anthony to Florida for Jacob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias.