Look, my idea of a hockey player is a bit more like this:
Now THAT'S a hockey player.
Given that Cam Neely to me is the prototype of what a forward should be in the NHL, I don't need ALL my forwards to play the same style. That would just be as dumb as thinking Jonathan Toews is a better player than John Tavares because Toews has been on three Stanley Cup winning teams and Tavares none so far.
I truly do love all types of players even ones who are not super physical but have those slick moves. Be it the super underrated Jean Ratelle in the '70s
to the recent stylings of Pavel Datsyuk, it's great to see silky hands in action. No, my issue with both of you is slowness in various forms.
I get you were never going to be Swedish Rockets a la the Russian one--Pavel Bure.
I want excitement though. I want to be lifted out of my seat. To put it in terms maybe you can both relate to, I'm not European, and I don't understand how watching the Tour de France on TV is entertaining at all. I appreciate the athleticism it takes to cycle up mountains, but it's not something I particularly want to watch for hours on end. So I'm hardly going to fall in love with two players cycling the puck down low no matter what the results are.
It's simply aesthetics. I want Guy Lafleur flying down the wing. I want Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane doing this:
Getting started early
It's not like I don't enjoy Swedish hockey players either. Give me a Henrik Zetterberg or a Peter Forsberg and I'm onboard. Your buddy, Markus Naslund and you two--not so much. Again, it's a style-of-play choice.
The other main problem related to slowness is your development into "stars." Who knows why but both of you took far too long to get really good. By the time you got to that "elite" level any chance of actually doing consistent damage and leading the Canucks deep into the playoffs on a yearly basis was gone. You may ask, "Well, what about the 2011 Final?"
We'll get to that later, but here's a comparison of what I was talking about as far as your career arcs. Let's have a look at some contemporaries that overlap your era and seeing how long it took them to break the arbitrary 82-pt. mark in an 82-game season and, as well, go on a deep playoff run to at least a Conference Final.
Joe Sakic age 20, 102 pts.; age 26, Stanley Cup champion
Peter Forsberg age 22, 116 pts. and Stanley Cup champion
Mike Modano age 22, 93 pts; age 21, Stanley Cup Final
Jarome Iginla age 24, 96 pts; age 26, Stanley Cup Final
Brendan Shanahan age 24, 94 pts; age 28, Stanley Cup champion
Sergei Fedorov age 22, 86 pts; age 25, Stanley Cup Final
Eric Lindros age 20, 97 pts; age 23, Stanley Cup Final
Claude Giroux age 24, 93 pts; age 22, Stanley Cup Final
Paul Kariya age 21, 108 pts; age 28, Stanley Cup Final
Teemu Selanne age 22, 132 pts; age 35, Conference Final
Marian Hossa age 24, 80 pts; age 24, Conference Final
Vincent Lecavlier age 26, 108 pts; age 23, Stanley Cup champion
Brad Richards age 25, 91 pts; age 23, Stanley Cup champion
Martin St. Louis age 28, 94 pts and Stanley Cup champion
Ilya Kovalchuk age 20, 87 pts; age 28 Stanley Cup Final
Sidney Crosby age 18, 102 pts; age 20, Conference Final
Eric Staal age 21, 100 pts and Stanley Cup champion
Jason Spezza age 22, 90 pts; age 23, Stanley Cup Final
Pavel Datsyuk age 27, 87 pts; age 23, Stanley Cup champion
Henrik Zetterberg age 25, 85 pts; age 26, Conference Final
Patrick Kane age 21, 88 pts; age 20, Conference Final
Sure this is a subjective group (I mean, Datsyuk, for example, was a rookie on his first Cup not the leader he became by age 29 of his second Cup), but these are all mainly guys who at least started to do SOMETHING at an elite level by their mid-20s at the latest.
Yes, Alexander Ovechkin (106 pts as a 20 y/o) has yet to get to a Conference Final let alone a Cup Final. Sure, a Sedin by another name due to his slow skating, Adam Oates (102 pts as a 27 y/o), took until age 35 to get to a Stanley Cup Final (with the Washington Capitals). Joe Pavelski or Toews have yet to record 82-pt seasons, but again these are two players I would rather watch because of HOW they play.
Hey, it's not like I'm asking for much, if you are future Hall Of Famers. If Steve Yzerman can go from a player had 87 pts as a 20 y/o and six 100+-pt seasons including a whopping 155 pts in the Air Hockey era and transform his game as he aged, you could have by now as well. Even if you consider the '80s Snorris Division made it easier for every team in that weak division to get into a Conference Final (Stevie Y at age 21), Yzerman from ages 29 to 32 captained the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup Final, Conference Final and then two straight Stanley Cups in those four seasons!
Then there's your career arcs:
Henrik Sedin age 28, 82 pts; age 30, Stanley Cup Final
Daniel Sedin age 26, 84 pts; age 30, Stanley Cup Final
And at age 30, that is the ONLY deep playoff run your teams have ever had in 17 seasons in the NHL.
So, I'm sorry, if I'm not onboard the Sedin Train. Then again I'm still trying to figure out how Linden went from looking like the next Cam Neely to virtually losing his scoring touch at age 26. Would someone please explain how he never cracked 30 goals again after six 30-goal seasons in his first eight years in the NHL?
You both do represent what I think the less delusional Canucks fans see in this franchise--year-upon-year frustration. Other than the Pavel Bure years when have the Vancouver Canucks not been as frustrating a franchise in any sport?
To me, this incident every Canuck fan knows pretty much sums up why neither of you will ever win my heart and, if that makes me heartless, . . . so be it:
Definitely a TKO for Canucks' Cup hopes
You guys had been playing in the NHL up to that point for 11 seasons and what that showed me was not "discipline" and not taking stupid penalties. It showed me the Boston Bruins were going to clean your clocks.
Even gentlemanly Jean Beliveau would not take that abuse...or at least John Ferguson would have stepped in and clocked Brad Marchand. Sadly, Gino Odjick was not on the 2011 team. You win some; you lose a Stanley Cup.
As it was, we all know the story. The now obviously soft Canucks came back home after that Game 6 loss and did not score a single goal (Tim Thomas again outplays Roberto Luongo) in Game 7. Done . . . like . . . dinner.
To be honest, yes, you two could have won me over if you had led the Canucks to the Cup in 2011 (although having lost Games 3 & 4 by a combined 12-1 score, I could not see a Stanley Cup materializing after Aaron Rome decided to wake up the Bruins with that dumb hit on Nathan Horton), but you were already on as thin ice thanks to the previous nine seasons of no deep playoff runs starting even back in the Markus Naslund era (yet another Swedish forward the Canucks "lucked out" with not named Zetterberg or Forsberg).
I could go on but be that as it may, you guys, to borrow from John McEnroe, cannot be serious if you think the Vancouver Canucks' signings of Dave Gagner, Thomas Vanek, Michael Del Zotto and the NHL's 2016/17 83rd leading scorer (Bo Horvat) to a six-year (six years!?) deal is going to result in a deep playoff run UNLESS Thatcher Demko makes the team and turns into 1986 rookie Patrick Roy . . . or that other guy in the '80s.
Don't you forget about me