The Vancouver Canucks celebrated their 50th season in the NHL in 2020. Players, coaches and general managers have won 15 NHL awards while representing the team. It’s always an appropriate time to look at the last Canuck to win each NHL award.
Hart Memorial Trophy: Henrik Sedin (2009-10)
In 2009-10, Henrik Sedin became the first and only player in Canucks history to win the Hart Memorial Trophy. The player considered the most valuable to his team is awarded the Hart Trophy. He beat out Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, who were named finalists along with Sedin. The Swede led the league in points with 112 and led the league in assists with 83, which was 14 more than second.
He set three Canucks’ records that season. He became the franchise all-time leader in assists, set the single-season points record and set the single-season record in assists. Henrik carried the load offensively for the Canucks that season as his twin brother, Daniel missed 19 games due to a foot injury. The 2009-10 season was a launching point for the Sedins as Daniel followed Henrik by surpassing the 100-point mark the following season.
Calder Memorial Trophy: Elias Pettersson (2018-19)
Elias Pettersson became the second player in Canucks history to win the Calder Memorial Trophy when he took home the award last season. Pavel Bure was the last Canuck to win the award in 1991-92. The award is given to the player who is “the most proficient in his first year of competition.” Pettersson beat out fellow rookies Jordan Binnington and Rasmus Dahlin to win the award.
Pettersson broke the Canucks’ rookie scoring record with a team-leading 66 points in 71 games. Ivan Hlinka and Bure previously held the rookie scoring record with 60 points. His 66 points gave him a 19-point lead over all other rookies last season. He led all rookies and his teammates in scoring with 28 goals. He played in the NHL All-Star Game, becoming the youngest Canuck to do so and joined Brock Boeser and Dale Tallon as the third rookie to do so for the club.
Art Ross Trophy and Ted Lindsay: Daniel Sedin (2010-11)
The Sedin twins went back to back winning the Art Ross trophy in 2009-10 and 2010-11. The trophy is awarded to the player who leads the league in total points scored. Daniel Sedin led the league with 104 points and was the only player to pass the 100-point mark that season. He beat out Martin St. Louis (99 points), Corey Perry (98 points) and his brother Henrik (94 points), to lead the league in points.
Daniel won the Ted Lindsay in 2010-11 as the most outstanding player in the NHL voted on by members of the NHL Players’ Association (NHLPA). He became the second Canuck in franchise history to win the award. Markus Naslund won the award in 2002-03, he also scored 104 points that season but finished second in the scoring race.
Frank J. Selke Trophy: Ryan Kesler (2010-11)
Ryan Kesler became the first Canuck to win the Frank J. Selke Trophy in 2010-11 after being nominated the previous two seasons. The Selke Trophy is awarded to the NHL’s top defensive forward. He beat out Jonathan Toews and Pavel Datsyuk — the latter had won the award three seasons in a row. Kesler scored a career-high 41 goals tying Daniel Sedin for the team lead that season. He hit the 70-point mark for the second time in his career with 73 points in 82 games.
Kesler’s defence was key in the team’s first-round matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks. Head coach Alain Vigneault matched Kesler’s line with the Toews line. Toews did not register an even-strength point and only scored one goal throughout the seven-game series.
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“I don’t think you ever set a goal to win the award, but I do pride myself on the defensive side of the game,” said Kesler. “It’s nice to get acknowledged. I guess all those years my dad was yelling ‘backcheck’ at me finally paid off.”
William M. Jennings Trophy: Roberto Luongo & Cory Schneider (2010-11)
Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider shared the William M. Jennings Trophy in 2010-11. The award is given to the goaltender(s) who have allowed the fewest goals while playing 25 games at least.
The pair were the first to win the trophy in franchise history. Luongo allowed 126 goals in 60 appearances, while Schneider allowed 51 goals in 25 games as the team’s backup. Luongo set a career-best 2.11 goals against average and his best save percentage of .928 during his time with the Canucks.
Jack Adams Award: Alain Vigneault (2006-07)
Vigneault won the Jack Adams Award in his first season as head coach of the Canucks. The award is given to the coach who has contributed the most to his team’s success. After barely missing the playoffs, the team replaced Marc Crawford with Vigneault as head coach. In his first season, he improved the team’s record by seven wins and the team made the playoffs. The Canucks lost in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to the Anaheim Ducks.
For the fifth time in his coaching career, Vigneault is nominated for the Jack Adams Award in 2020 but he has only won the award once. He is the second coach to win the award in franchise history after Pat Quinn won in 1991-92. His fifth nomination for the award is the most for any coach in NHL history.
Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award: Mike Gillis (2010-11)
The GM of the Year award is a recent addition to the NHL awards. Mike Gillis is the second recipient of the award, winning it after the 2010-11 season. He built a Canucks team that posted a franchise-best record of 54-19-9 and won the team the Presidents’ Trophy. The 2010-11 Canucks team lost in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, the third appearance in franchise history.
Gillis acquired multiple pieces that improved the team during the offseason and at the trade deadline. He signed Manny Malhotra, Dan Hamhuis and Raffi Torres through free agency, then traded for Maxim Lapierre and Chris Higgins at the trade deadline. All five players improved the team immensely and played key roles throughout the season and the playoffs.
King Clancy Memorial Trophy: Henrik and Daniel Sedin (2017-18)
Henrik and Daniel won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in their last season. The award is given to players who, “best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.” The NHL sent off the twins the best way they could, by honouring the two for what they have done best throughout their careers — giving back to their community. It was the third time a player for the Canucks won the award and the second time for Henirk (2016).
The Sedins have given back to their community since they joined the team in 2000-01. They have helped the Canucks for Kids Fund raise $42 million, advocated for the literacy promotion programs of the Canucks Family Education Centre, and supported the SPCA. In 2010, they donated $1.5 million to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. Throughout their careers, they frequently visited patients and families at BC’s children’s hospital.
“I think the NHL and all the teams do such a great job, things that are forgotten during the season,” Daniel Sedin said. “For us, coming into Vancouver, from Day One, the big thing has been to be involved in the community. Go out to schools and hospitals and get involved. That’s something we take a lot of pride in in Vancouver.”
More Awards to Come
The Canucks dominated the NHL Awards in 2010-11, winning five awards in total. The Sedin twins are the last players to win four different awards. This year the Canucks may see Hughes win the Calder Trophy. If Markstrom did not get injured, he had a chance at being nominated for the Hart Trophy and the Vezina.
It is the third season in a row that the team has a rookie that has been nominated, with Pettersson winning last year and Boeser as a runner-up in 2017-18. The young core has an opportunity to be the first to win a few awards for the Canucks, which includes the Vezina Trophy, the James Norris Memorial Trophy and the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy.
Sartaaj has been watching hockey for over 15 years and covers the Vancouver Canucks for The Hockey Writers.