[As we approach the start of the NHL regular season, members of the Canucks blogosphere give their two cents about your Vancouver Canucks and address the issues, questions and expectations of the team in their 40th year anniversary.]
Photo credit: Vancouver Province
When Markus Naslund skated off GM Place for the last time in a Canucks jersey on April 5th, 2008, every single Canucks fan in the arena were standing and cheering and hooting and hollering. Only the ovation wasn’t for him; it was for Trevor Linden, who had also just played the last game if his NHL career.
This isn’t to say that Trevor didn’t deserve the send-off he received that night. Of course he deserved it. But on that same night, Markus, who to this day still holds the Canucks franchise highs in career goals, points, powerplay goals and game-winning goals, left the ice unceremoniously. On that same night, Markus, who captained the Canucks as long as Trevor did and whose teams made the postseason 6 times in 8 seasons, silently skated off before taking his game to Broadway.
On December 11th, 2010, the Canucks will right this wrong and retire Markus’ no. 19 jersey to the rafters. Will fans do the same and finally give him the appreciation he deserves this time around?
Richard: He better, otherwise there will be hell to pay. Naslund will get what he rightly deserves. I’m thrilled Gillis – the Canucks organization – made the decision to retire his jersey. It was the right thing to do.
Chris: I sincerely hope that Markus gets a hearty ovation. Although Trevor will always be held in higher regard, Markus Naslund was able to take the Canucks to the levels previously unheard of. He nearly led the league in scoring, won the Lester Pearson trophy by being chosen as MVP among his peers, and had a talent which could make or break the success of the team. True he never had an opportunity to take the team to the Stanley Cup Finals as Linden did, but Nazzy helped bring the team back from it’s dark era when “he who shall not be named” was running the team (after “he who shall not be named” ran Linden out of town).
Katie: Not much has angered me in recent years as the treatment towards Markus Naslund when he left the team. Naslund was treated like Grandma on the show “Dinosaurs”, being sent off to the tar pits (aka New York) once he was considered ‘useless’.
It’s my hope that, on December 11th, he will finally get the recognition he deserves from Vancouver after the way he was shipped off. Being overshadowed by Linden’s final game is understandable, but December 11th is his night and his night only. I would hope that the fans will remember what this man did for the franchise and give him a proper sending off.