I am a sad Canucks fan today. I am sadden by the departure, albeit inevitable, of Markus Naslund. The Canucks more prolific goal scorer has gone way of unrestricted free agency to the New York Rangers. As I was watching Rogers’ Sportsnet Connected last night, I was deeply sadden to hear that Markus has signed with the Rangers. It’s a big blow to the Canucks organization, but I also feel this is the best decision for Markus Naslund and his career.
I am not going to dwell on any futility that has happened during Markus Naslund’s tenure with the Canucks. I want to remember all the wonderful things Markus has done in Vancouver as a Canucks for the 12 seasons and 8 years of Captaincy he has given us.
First and foremost, that was the trade of the decade. Pat Quinn unloaded Alex Stojanov to Pittsburgh for Markus. It was a even trade across the board, or so we thought at the time, but Markus Naslund turned out to be a blooming superstar right here in Vancouver. Developing under the tutelage of some of the older vets and coming into his own. It was a beginning of a beautiful love affair with Naslund and the city.
I will never forget the emergence of the West Coast Express (Naslund, Bertuzzi, Cassels/Morrison). I will never forget how dominant they were around the league. Their point totals were outstanding as a unit. Naslund led that charge. It was a beautiful thing to watch. Great few years there for sure.
I want to remember the years Vancouver has won division titles with Markus Naslund as our captain. I believe we won three. The Canucks were always considered contenders because of certain players on the team, but Naslund name was always in the fold.
I look back and think about Naslund’s love for the city. How much he has made it his home and at times during the off-season, I’d see Markus doing a jog with a friend at Kits beach as he nodded and smiled at the fans greeting him during his run.
I remember seeing Markus Naslund and his family at Osaka Restaurant on more than one occasion. I came soon to realize that it was one of his favourite restaurants. He loves his Japanese food. I also remember Markus’ visits to BC Children’s hospital, Canucks’ Hospice, Ronald McDonald House and many other charitable organizations to which he has lent his celebrity.
All those aforementioned reasons listed fuel why I am so angry at the way the media has portrayed Naslund’s decision to leave Vancouver, and sign with the Rangers. First off, how quickly we forget the good Markus has given and done for the organization, the city and his teammates. All because he openly has said he wants to go to a contender and wanted to play a more offensive type game than what he has been playing the last couple of years in Vancouver, he’s now ungrateful? Give me a break. Naslund gave his all here in Vancouver and the media, and some fans, have pissed on it and like human nature dictates, it was never enough.
I am calling Don Taylor out for his comments about Naslund on Connected. Shut up, Donnie, if that was an attempt to get more ratings for Connected by bashing Naslund, you’ve truly lost your touch as a broadcaster. You used to be so good, but it’s clear in the last few years, your skill has diminished. It’s typical Vancouver media to bash the players that leave the city via free agency and also via trades.
The Vancouver media and their credo of “Build them up to Tear them Down” has happened to the longest serving Canuck in recent memory. Naslund was here through the lean years and was happy to be hear during those lean years. Watching his role with the club grow and the love the city was showing grow. Despite what you hear from the media in Vancouver and the many bandwagon fans there are in this city (Far too many for my liking) Markus Naslund was well loved player in the community. I’m sick and tired of the Vancouver media and the fairweather fans treating our star players like it was all their fault for all the wrongs of the team.
Markus Naslund deserves a better send off than what the media has given him. Markus deserves a big thank you for what he has done for the organization and in the community. You ask Trevor Linden just how much of a class act Markus Naslund is, and he’ll be one of the first to say how much.
Markus’ legacy in Vancouver:
1) Leading goal scorer in club history (346)
2) Leading points getting in club history (756)
3) 12 years in a Canucks uniform
4) 8 years as Canucks captain
5) Only winner in Canucks history of the Lester B. Pearson Award.
A class act through and through, even during the “lean” times in Vancouver. Markus I wish you the best of luck in NYC and I can’t wait to see you flourish again with that wrist shot of yours.