Earlier in the season, I wrote this post about the media and how they treated Naslund. I was frustrated and can’t stand the way Iain MacIntyre would go on about him even after he’d left. I called THEN for the retirement of his number back when people were still going on about how he didn’t deserve a thing and the bandwagon thought it was fine to continue chewing him up and spitting him out.
Naslund did on this team what no one else had done, and what no one else has replicated yet. There’s a reason he:
• He played 13 seasons in Vancouver
• Most Points by a Canuck (756)
• Most Goals by a Canuck (346)
• 3rd most assists (410 – 1st Linden 415, 2nd Smyl 411)
• Most hattricks by a Canuck (10)
• Holds all records for Left Wingers (Most Goals, Assists, Points)
In my (very humble) opinion, I think the media was the result of what I see as a shortened career. On a team where there were a number of faults, the blame was placed on him for the lack of success, and really there was an issue with the team and a number of gaps that needed filling. When you look at the numbers, Naslund’s 19 should be up there alongside Smyl’s 12 and Linden’s 16. (but please, don’t go renaming the gate’s at GM Place and making errors on the plaques.)
If the Montreal Canadiens can put aside their differences and retire Patrick Roy’s number, then the Canucks should have no problem doing the same for Naslund. Here’s a player that played his best year’s for the Canucks and put up numbers that won’t be touched for some time. People need to look at the player he was when he was with us, and not the negative image of him that the media created and portrayed so vividly.