Who’s your favourite ex-Canuck on the Anaheim Ducks?

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      When the Vancouver Canucks play the Anaheim Ducks tonight at the Honda Center, two former Canucks in Kevin Bieksa and Ryan Miller will be suiting up for the Ducks, with a third (Ryan Kesler) sitting in the press box with an injury.

      All three have had highs and lows with the Canucks, so it’s worth asking which of the trio is most favourably remembered in Vancouver.

      Ryan Kesler

      Position:

      Centre

      How’d he arrive?

      Through the 23rd pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

      Time in Vancouver:

      10 seasons.

      How’d he leave?

      By demanding a trade after the 2013-14 season. Was traded with a 2015 third-rounder (Deven Sideroff) for Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa and first (Jared McCann) and third round (traded for Derek Dorsett) picks in the 2014 draft.

      Highest high:

       

      There were a few, but for one playoff series during Vancouver’s magical 2011 Stanley Cup run, Kesler wasn’t just the best player on the Canucks, he was one of the most unstoppable players in the league.

      Lowest low:

      Also a few. After cheering for him for years, Canuck fans started to think of Kesler as a bad guy (those thoughts can be encountered in their entirety here), and when he finally requested a trade, his relationship with the city was all but shattered. And while some of that is undoubtedly earned, Kesler’s reputation certainly didn’t have the benefit of a fair and unbiased media.

      He’s remembered in Vancouver as:

      An asshole. Whether it was fair or not, fans and the media alike vilified Kesler as he sought to jump ship to the Ducks. It never looks good when you demand a trade yet use your no-trade clause to pick your destination.

      Kevin Bieksa spent 10 seasons in Vancouver.
      Vancouver Canucks on Twitter

      Kevin Bieksa

      Position:

      Defence

      How’d he arrive?

      Through the 151st pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.

      Time in Vancouver:

      10 seasons.

      How’d he leave?

      Was traded in 2015 for a second-round pick that was then dealt to Pittsburgh in the Nick Bonino-Brandon Sutter deal. The pick was eventually used to take goaltender Phillip Gustavsson.

      It’s important to note that the language around Bieksa’s trade was markedly different than what surrounded the Kesler deal.

      Highest high:

      Gotta be this, right?

      If you’re reading this, odds are you know exactly where you were and what you were doing when Bieksa took that shot. The only person in Vancouver who rues that day is the cameraman.

      Lowest low:

      As he got older, Bieksa’s game didn’t transition so well. It especially showed in his last set of games as a Canuck, when Flames forward Michael Ferland embarrassed the defenceman numerous times during the 2015 playoffs.

      He’s remembered in Vancouver as:

      A loyal soldier. Whatever you think of his skill level, it’s impossible to deny that Bieksa was a warrior who gave his all every night. No one grimaces or questions you when you wear a Bieksa jersey to the rink, and that’s one of the best measures there is for how a player is remembered.

      Ryan Miller will face the Canucks tonight for the first time since signing with Anaheim in the offseason.
      Jeff Vinnick

      Ryan Miller

      Position:

      Goaltender

      How’d he arrive?

      For $6 million a year over three years in a deal that screamed of Vancouver not being able to let go of championship aspirations that were definitely long gone.

      Time in Vancouver:

      Three seasons.

      How’d he leave?

      In the most recent offseason to play behind John Gibson in Anaheim. He wanted to be with his family in California and the Canucks wanted to see if Jacob Markstrom could be a legitimate number one option.

      Highest high:

      On many nights during the three seasons prior to the current campaign, Miller was the best thing about the Canucks, as he kept the team in many games.

      The best moment? Honestly, might have been this:

      Lowest low:

      Again, there aren’t too many that stand out on either spectrum. But probably the fact that he only played three playoff games as a Canuck, winning one.

      He’s remembered in Vancouver as:

      A misguided acquisition, but one that gave his all in a situation he never should have been in. Miller was a class act in Vancouver and though fans resent the fact that he ever came, they don’t fault him for it.

      Which Canuck-turned-Duck do you like the most?

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