It’s the Vancouver Canucks’ 50th anniversary (er, kinda) this season and the team is going all-out in embracing its past.
Former players and jerseys alike are being honoured all over the place. The recent 70’s night, for instance, was the first of five evenings that will pay tribute to a past decade.
And if you’re looking to buy a jersey to celebrate the team’s 50th (OK fine, we’re going with it), we have a list that doesn’t just rattle off the sweaters the team has worn.
Oh no, we’re combining player and team to really find out what choice will get you the most “nice jersey” comments around town.
This isn’t just a recital of the best players in history, either. (Although many of them are on this list.) But here we are trying to decipher a “coolness” factor. Was the player well-liked? Is the jersey cool? Does it transport people to a distinct moment in Canucks lore? And has that moment aged well?
In other words: does it make you jealous that you don’t have it?
Here’s our best shot at the top 10 jerseys to own in Vancouver.
10. Trevor Linden golden yellow skate
The former Canucks president only wore the first iteration of the skate for one year—his first. And though the team undeniably made a good call in transitioning to later design, this one has gotten better with age.
The pulpy yellow is reminiscent of a bolder time, and its presence can be nice to see among the ocean of the newer skate jerseys that dot the viaduct on game night.
9. Ed Jovanoski dark orca
Jovocop was a fan favourite and while we easily could have put Naslund here, a Jovo jersey shows a little more depth. The defenceman is still very respected in this city and his long name (hopefully spelled right) looks awesome on the back of a sweater.
8. Bo Horvat blue stick alternate
We’re going to be honest here. We’re not huge fans of the team’s new alternate jerseys. But some people are and, even if we think they kind of look like something you could get at Zellers, we’re not sure how long the limited edition item will be around, which gives it some added value. Plus, having that C on there is pretty nice.
7. Roberto Luongo Millionaires
Okay, so this one might bring up some tough memories.
But PTSD aside, this is a beautiful jersey and, fair or not, one of the more lasting visual memories of the best goaltender in franchise history.
6. Alex Mogilny alternate skate
Mogilny remains a fan favourite in Vancouver, and this sweater is sort of a perfect encapsulation of the Russian’s time with the Canucks: misunderstood, unfairly maligned and full of warm nostalgia.
5. Rick Rypien blue “Vancouver” orca
If you see a Rypien jersey at Rogers Arena and don’t immediately offer praise to the person wearing it, you’re a cop.
4. Stan Smyl black flying V
The team’s first star. Yes, you’re allowed to say “OK, boomer” to anyone who thinks this is the best Canucks’ jersey. But Steamer himself deserves respect and the black version of this thing is actually kinda cool.
3. Todd Bertuzzi white orca
This may or not have been influenced by recent events.
But Vancouverites remain ardent Bertuzzi apologists and, as the home opener showed, there’s a lot of love for Big Bert in this town. It’s another choice that’s soaked in nostalgia and the lingering question of what if.
2. Gino Odjick white skate
Speaking of nostalgia. One of the more popular Canucks to ever play and the second certified enforcer on this list. No one garnered more popularity with his fists in Vancouver. Gino remains undefeated in the eyes of Canucks fans, and he’s been the object of tons of fan support while embroiled in bigger battles than the ones he faced on the ice.
It’s the quintessential fan favourite jersey, and it doesn’t hurt that it comes with the best logo the team has ever had. The white, of course, is the best Odjick jersey because you could see the blood.
1. Pavel Bure black skate
The most electrifying player in team history comes together with the best jersey. And no, there’s no preference on numbers 10 or 96. The former is more iconic, but the latter has a cool factor.
Of all the jerseys on this list, this is the one you aren’t allowed to disagree with.
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