Canucks Having Best Season Since Entering the NHL in 1970
The Vancouver Canucks are the 2010-11 National Hockey League’s President’s Trophy winners. The Canucks finished the season, setting a team record for most wins in a single regular season with 54. Since the team entered the NHL for the 1970-71 season, their previous best win total was 49 on two different occasions.
Despite being dubbed by some as “Team Sweden”, the 2010-11 Vancouver Canucks are mostly made up of North American players. Of the 27 players on the roster for the Stanley Cup playoffs, 20 were born in North America. Fourteen of those players are born in Canada and the other six are from the United States. In fact, only four players are Sweden-born, including the team’s star twins, Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Rounding out the team are one Dane, one German and one Fin.
According to the website Elite Prospects dot Com, the average age of Vancouver’s players is 27.77 years. The oldest player is Finland native Sami Salo at 36 while the youngest is Canada’s own Cody Hodgson at just 21 years.
There have been studies done that prove professional hockey players are more often than not born in the first half of the year. This is not so with the Vancouver Canucks. In fact, fourteen of the players celebrate their birthdays in the final six months of the year compared to thirteen in the first six. Vancouver’s busiest month for birthdays is September with five.
In a new NHL where size supposedly doesn’t matter, the Canucks have a throwback team of giants. Just four of the 27 players fail to reach the 6’ mark. Sixteen players register weights of over 200 lbs. The Tallest Canuck is American born defenseman Andrew Alberts at 6’5”. Another defenseman, Lee Sweatt, takes the shortest player honours at 5’9”. Manny Malhotra is the heaviest at 220 lbs. with Mason Raymond and Cody Hodgson sharing the title of slimmest at 185.
More awards will surely come this season once the playoffs have run their course. Currently for 2010-11, the Canucks have the Art Ross Trophy Winner for the second straight season and the William M. Jennings Trophy winning duo. With 104 points during the regular season, Daniel Sedin kept the Art Ross in the family for the second straight season with Henrik winning the trophy in 2009-10. Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider shared the Jennings for the goaltending duo to allow the fewest goals.
Luongo winning the Jennings is fitting as he set team records for the lowest Goals Against Average at 2.11 and the best Save Percentage at .928. Roberto also owns the team record for most wins in a season with 47, set in 2006-07 and most shutouts in a season with nine in 2008-09.
Heavily favoured to win the Stanley Cup for 2011, the Canucks have fast become Canada’s team. Like them or not, this team could be quite competitive for years to come.