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Who's next?

Wednesday, 27.10.2010 / 12:00 PM / Features - 40th Anniversary
By Derek Jory
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Who\'s next?

One down, three to go.

Orland Kurtenbach’s induction into the Canucks Ring of Honour Tuesday night puts one spot to rest and begins the debate about which former Canucks player will occupy the second spot in the ROH.

It’s unclear when the next ROH inductee will be announced, but he will take centre stage when Vancouver faces the Colorado Avalanche on November 24.

The Internet has been abuzz over the last few days with Canucks bloggers trying to predict who will be the next player honoured by the team.

Brian Wawryshyn, master of Canuckscorner.com, has it down to a three-horse race in his blog Who is worthy of “The Ring.” Based on the criteria of having put in several years of service to the team, represented the team and the city with class and contributed to the organization and the city outside the game, Wawryshyn not only has Kirk McLean, Harold Snepsts and Thomas Gradin nominated for the next Ring of Honour spot, but for the next three spots.

McLean gets the nod for his outstanding stats, which includes being the club’s all-time leader in games, wins and playoff games, wins and shutouts, and for still being a major face of the franchise.

“McLean has made Vancouver his home and is a business owner in the community and also makes appearances on behalf of the club’s alumni,” wrote Wawryshyn. “He’s one of Vancouver’s most recognizable sports figures of all-time.”

Snepsts and Gradin round out the list, the former for his steady play, trademark moustache and that he is still an active member of the team working as an amateur scout, the latter for being Vancouver’s first legitimate star in eight seasons with the team and for still being a part of the franchise as associate head scout.

Canuckshockeyblog.com threw its hat in the ring with three big dogs, Chris Golden, J.J. Guerrero and Richard Loat, alongside Cam from CanucksArmy.com, giving their two cents on who deserves the next honour.

After the votes were tallied, Pavel Bure came away with three nods, as did Harold Snepsts and Kirk McLean, while Gino Odjick, Roger Nielson, Thomas Gradin, Jim Robson and Richard Brodeur all received singles.

Interesting to note that Golden relied on his Magic 8-ball, as he was unable to make his own picks. He gets points for creativity.

The one and only Larenzo Jensen of thecanuckway.com drops a few names as to who he thinks should follow Kurtenbach, namely “Don Lever, Stan "The Steamer" Smyl, Trevor Linden, Pavel Bure, Kirk McLean, Pat Quinn, Geoff Courtnall, Markus Naslund, Petri Skriko, Tony Tanti, Harold Snepsts; the list goes on for potential candidates.”

'King' Richard Brodeur also deserves consideration, to Jensen, because he was Vancouver’s ace in the hole.

“If you're like myself, you caught the Canucks bug a little bit late... 1981/82 was the year my father and I watched our first Canucks game together,” wrote Jensen. “I don't know that another player could capture my attention the way Richard "The King" Brodeur did - I was constantly drawing him in his net making some spectacular save. My 2nd grade teacher, Ms. Webster, let me doodle on my Hilroy notebook, though, because I was normally a distraction and a jester.”

That’s as convincing an argument as any.

Jason Chen, a Canucks.com Fan Zone blogger extraordinaire, also makes a strong case for his top five candidates: Trevor Linden, Stan Smyl, Roger Neilson, Pat Quinn and Jim Robson.

Of all the bloggers, Chen was the only one to raise a toast to former Canucks player, coach, president and general manager Pat Quinn, and he debates well on Quinn’s behalf.

“As synonymous as the 1994 playoff run was to Linden, McLean, Bure, Adams, and Courtnall, so was Pat Quinn,” wrote Chen. “As a builder, Quinn had a vision and brought in Kirk McLean and Greg Adams in a trade in 1987, drafted Linden in 1988, and then Bure in 1989, all four who would play vital roles in the summer of 1994. Despite having a falling out with a new ownership group and fired in 1997, Quinn's impact in Vancouver remains profound.”

With the exception of Chris Levesque, tons of Canucks deserve consideration for the next Ring of Honour spot.

Have your say here.