Great Foreign Canucks (now with fewer meatballs)
Remarkably, the Vancouver Canucks have surprisingly had some foreign players suit up for the team that were in fact not Swedish.
Some of them were very good ones as well.
One of whom, was also the most skilled player the team has ever seen.
Had an abbreviated stay with the Canucks in his three years and was just getting started after taking time to adapt to North America, but brought a professionalism and sense of the game to Vancouver that helped move the franchise forward.
Even though he was late in his career arriving here at almost 29 years of age, the Russian centre continued to put up points and positively influenced the young players with his work habits and devotion to his craft.
Has been an intermittent presence at times with the Canucks, as a result of numerous and varied unfortunate injuries, but is as dedicated a player to the team cause as anyone who has ever laced up the skates over the years.
Even at the age of 36, the Finn continues to play very well, and was a consistently valuable cog in the playoff trip to the Cup Finals.
Sami plays sound positional hockey, despite an eternal lack of foot speed, and continues to maintain that booming slap shot that puts ever loving fear into the minds of opposition players.
Was the steady Finn rearguard with a fondness for forays into the offensive zone who helped propel the Canucks on their `94 Stanley Cup run. He provided a steady presence on the blue line and was a fan favourite during a productive year stay in Van City.
Is the best player who has ever played for the Canucks. Period.
In a West Coast world where Trevor Linden (and Stan Smyl) played, the Russian Rocket may never have been the most well rounded, or beloved hockey player.
But, there can be no argument that he was the most skilled Canuck in team history, and one of the NHL`s finest ever performers at his position.
Linden is the greatest Canuck in team history, for several on and off ice reasons, but Bure with his speed, skill and surprising strength was a menace to every opposing defenceman and goaltender, and they were on constant alert whenever he stepped on the ice.
Long-time observers will recall the breathlessness and anticipation in the air from that very first shift he skated against the original incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets.
Bure went on to score 288 goals for Vancouver, several of highlight reel quality.