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Fanspeak: Pavel Bure voted greatest Canuck in franchise history

Aug 11, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT

Pavel Bure AP

This summer, NBC Sports’ social media team is conducting the #NHLGreatest initiative, designed for fans to choose the best player in each franchise’s history. Balloting was conducted through three platforms — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — with thousands of votes being cast. The results of this initiative will be released throughout the month of August, in conjunction with PHT’s Team of the Day series.

Vancouver Canucks

1. Pavel Bure — 836 votes

2. Trevor Linden — 332 votes

3. Markus Naslund — 159 votes

4. Mark Messier — 97 votes

When you think of the Canucks, often times memories go straight to 1994 and their run to the Stanley Cup Final against the New York Rangers. While they lost that series in seven games, one of the most memorable players during their playoff run that season was Pavel Bure.

The “Russian Rocket” led all playoff goal scorers in those playoffs with 16 and had 31 points overall. Had things gone differently in that Game 7 in Madison Square Garden, it’s possible he would’ve won the Conn Smythe Trophy and canonized as the patron saint of Vancouver.

Instead, all he did was score 254 of his 437 career goals for the Canucks in a career marred by injuries. For the NHL, he was the human highlight reel using his blazing speed to get behind defenses and make goaltenders quake as he came roaring in to score. His back-to-back 60-goal seasons in 1992-93 and 1993-94 stand out as his best work in Vancouver and reasons why they retired his No. 10 last season and led to his election to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012.

While he doesn’t have the all-time standing in goals or points the way Naslund and Linden do, Bure’s breathtaking play helped make him the fans’ choice as the greatest player in franchise history.

By the way, congrats to the fans who attempted to swing the vote for Messier. You cracked the leader board.

  1. withseidelinn - Aug 11, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    No Bertuzzi…??…

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Aug 11, 2014 at 5:35 PM

      No Harold?

  2. vancouversportsbro - Aug 11, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    Mark Messier? Who let the trolls vote for this poll?

  3. mbogdan0 - Aug 11, 2014 at 4:40 PM


  4. killerpgh - Aug 11, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    Surprised Loungo and his 8 seasons with the Canucks wasn’t top 4 in voting. Hard to argue with the top 3 tho. Messier and all the drama during his 3 years in Vancouver is surprising to see him up there.

  5. badguy711 - Aug 11, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    Mark Messier is LOATHED by Canuck Fans for the hatchet job he and Keenan did in the late nineties. Great player, but by the time he got here he was injury prone, and never went anywhere near the net. And Keenan was worse than Torts. That is saying something.

  6. atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 11, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    While Bure may have been the most talented Canuck to me the best Canuck is Trevor Linden, as a fan of a hated rival I’ll always think of Linden as Captain Canuck. Surprised Messier got votes but the Sedins and Stan Smyl didn’t. Also Kirk McLean, he was clutch in 94.

    • imleftcoast - Aug 11, 2014 at 6:00 PM

      Captain Kirk. How have fans forgotten him? I agree about Linden, but I’d rather fans evaluate him in his new role. Canucks could use a savior, but McDavid would be a better candidate for that.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 11, 2014 at 6:21 PM

        The save on Reichel in OT in game 7 v the Flames still leaves me shaking my head, how did he stop that?

      • 19inarow - Aug 11, 2014 at 6:37 PM

        Kirk Muller was “Captain Kirk.”

  7. pigpen1013 - Aug 11, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    Snepts was the man. What about Harold Druken? Or Dave Babych for that matter?

    For real though, Linden should have been number one.

  8. pigpen1013 - Aug 11, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    I’d like to see Harold Snepts’ mustache battle Dave Babych’s mustache for ultimate Canuck mustache supremacy.

  9. 19to77 - Aug 11, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    Interesting choice. I would’ve expected Linden, or at very least a way closer vote. Bure by a landslide, that surprises me. Also that Messier manages to make this list at all. Great player. One of the best in history. But absolutely and emphatically DESPISED by Canucks fans. Fourth-greatest in franchise history? If you told me he was the fourth-most hated player in their history, I’d ask what the hell the first three bastards had to do to earn their places.

    • dumbassgreg - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:24 PM

      messier only joined canucks for the money and Olympics team . the same money he talked gretzky out of not taking the year before to join him in new York. messier knew he just maybe for Olympic team. thought playing in Canada would help him get picked. remember like keenan when he played in Vancouver he never actually lived in Vancouver lived in Washington state so he could pay americans taxes. keenan did also.

  10. Rricardinho - Aug 11, 2014 at 8:24 PM


  11. Rricardinho - Aug 11, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    Lever Lumme

    oh shoot

    forgot Bure

  12. tyler4richardson - Aug 11, 2014 at 8:42 PM

    Kyle Wellwood #1

  13. emperorzero - Aug 11, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    A healthy Pavel Bure was awe-inspiring.

    • dumbassgreg - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:16 PM

      bure at his best was as exciting as any player ever in the nhl. one of those rare guys when touched the puck started to skate you watch expecting something to happen.

    • govtminion - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:44 AM

      Absolutely. Seeing him carry the puck into the zone was enough to give this old Avalanche fan heartburn in the mid-90s. “Oh god, not again…”

  14. 67nova - Aug 11, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    While Bure is a good choice, the guys I used to hate on the 80s/90s Canucks teams because they always scored against LA were guys like Cliff Ronning, Geoff Courtnall and Trevor Linden.

  15. slaugin - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    He was the man in NHL 94… No one could catch him

  16. Wineshard - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:13 PM

    Stan Smyl, Tony Tanti, Rick Vaive, Richard Brodeur, Darcy Rota, Patrick Sundstrom, Igor Larionov, Alex Mogilny, Petri Skriko.

    I don’t miss those yellow jerseys though.

  17. dumbassgreg - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    clearly 97 people voted in this poll who never saw minute of mark messier with the canucks. they sadly believe the myth spread members of the media like kypreos ,healy etc. the greatest leader in history of human race. if Gandhi ,buddha , jesus Winston Churchill arrived at event these people believe messier should be inducted last. he is after all the greatest leader ever. only thing messier did in Vancouver was getting everyone traded that would not kiss his butt. finally remember the great leader never played another playoff game in history career after Stanley cup in 94. the teams he played did make playoffs though after he left in both new York (both times) and Vancouver. I will happily take steve yzerman or joe sakic classy leadership any day over messier. do what you do best mark give your potato chip leader ship trophy. lmao

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Aug 12, 2014 at 1:42 AM

      Just for the record: Messier did play in the playoffs with the Rangers in 1995, 1996 and 1997, appearing in 36 games and scoring 10 goals and 26 assists, with a -19. His final NHL playoff game was a 4-2 loss to the Flyers on May 25, 1997. He had one assist.

  18. pavelfitzgerald - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    Bure was electrifying plain & simple. Linden was really what embodied a “Canuck” but Bure was a very special player. It’s too bad he couldn’t stay healthy for his career

  19. pone27 - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    Naslund should own this, but I can definitely appreciate Bure and what he did for the Canucks.

    Hard to really battle over either of them to be honest. Man, I miss 90s hockey.

  20. nybadger - Aug 12, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    Loved watching Pavel play hockey. Will never forget ’94 finals!!!

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