Stories: Opinions, comments,
thoughts (some even make sense).








If you like Canuck Class of '82, check out Canuck Class of '94.


Standout:
After the 1982 playoffs, Thomas Gradin held the team record for career playoff points (30).

Canuck Class of '82

It was one of the most exciting times in Canuck history. Despite seemingly impossible odds, the underdog Vancouver Canucks went all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. The parade that followed attracted 100,000 people and led many to believe that the Canucks were to become an NHL power. Before the summer was out, some of the players involved in the playoff run were already gone.

Below is a list of the players (and others) that were involved in the playoff run (listed in alphabetical order), and where they eventually went.


Canuck His contribution in 1982 Where he went after 1982
Neil Belland A minor league rookie who filled in admirably for other injured defensemen. Recorded 8 points during the playoffs. Shuffled back and forth between Vancouver and their farm team for five seasons, before finally moving to Pittsburgh (and later Europe).
Ivan Boldirev A gifted offensive player who took some of the pressure off the Gradin-Smyl line. Scored eight goals in the playoffs. Traded to Detroit in January 1983 for Mark Kirton. Retired after the 1984-85 season.
Per-Olov Brasar Saw limited action during the playoffs and did not record a point. Left the NHL after the 1981-82 season to play one more season in Sweden.
Richard Brodeur The only netminder the Canucks used during the playoffs. Posted a 2.70 goals against average and was a contender for the Conn Smythe Trophy until Mike Bossy came to town. Stayed with the Canucks until the 1987-88 season when a young netminder named Kirk McLean took his job away. Brodeur was traded to Hartford for Steve Weeks in March 1988.
Jiri Bubla Suffered a broken ankle in December 1982 and missed the rest of the season. Spent four more seasons with the Canucks, finally calling it quits after the 1985-86 season.
Garth Butcher A promising junior who saw some action in the Canucks' last game of the playoffs. Spent another nine seasons with the Canucks before being dealt to St. Louis in March 1991.
Colin Campbell Scored his only two goals of the season during one playoff game against the Los Angeles Kings. Signed as a free agent by Detroit in June 1982. Currently working for the NHL.
Marc Crawford A career minor leaguer who saw action in 14 of the Canuck games that spring. Scored his lone goal during the second game of the Calgary series. Spent another five seasons with the Canuck organization, earning his nickname "747" by constantly travelling between Vancouver and their farm team. Canuck coach from 1988-89 to 2005-06.
Tony Currie Played three playoff games, but did not record a point. Spent two more seasons in the Canuck organization (mostly in the minors) before moving on to Hartford as a free agent.
Ron Delorme Protected the skilled players with his tough play and memorable fights. Spent three more seasons with the Canucks before retiring after the 1984-85 season.
Anders Eldebrink Returned from a shoulder injury in time for the second round of the playoffs. Traded to Quebec in February 1983 for netminder John Garrett.
Curt Fraser Capped off his best NHL season with ten points and 98 penalty minutes in the playoffs. One of the Canucks' most feared enforcers. Traded to Chicago in January 1983 for Tony Tanti. Currently coaching in the NHL.
Thomas Gradin As in the regular season, he led the team in points during the playoffs with 19, setting several team records along the way. Spent four more seasons with the Canucks before being signed by the Boston Bruins as a free agent. Currently works as a European scout.
Doug Halward Sat out the first two games of the playoffs, then played the rest. Scored the series winning goal against the Chicago Black Hawks. Spent another five seasons on the Canuck blueline, before being traded to Detroit in November 1986.
Rick Heinz Richard Brodeur's backup for the playoffs (acquired when the Canucks traded Glen Hanlon to St. Louis). After playing three regular season games for the Canucks during the 1981-82 season, Heinz was sent back to the Blues that summer.
Ivan Hlinka The 31 year old "rookie" recorded 8 points in 12 games, despite a recurring back injury. He spent one more season with the Canucks before hanging up the skates for good. Currently coaching in the NHL.
Rick Lanz Suffered a season ending knee injury in early January 1982. Spent the next four and a half seasons with the Canucks, before being traded to Toronto in December 1986.
Lars Lindgren A defensive defenseman, but fairly effective offensively as well. He recorded 6 points during the playoffs. Played one more full season with the Canucks before being traded to Minnesota in October 1983.
Gary Lupul The sparkplug was a favourite with fans who would chant "Loop Loop" when he was on the ice. Lupul scored the series winning goal against the Calgary Flames. Lupul spent the next four seasons with the Canucks (including some time in the minors), before moving to Europe for two more seasons.
Kevin McCarthy The Canuck captain suffered a broken ankle during a practice just days before the playoffs began and did not participate in any games. Spent another season and a half with the Canucks before being dealt to the Penguins in January 1984.
Blair MacDonald Only saw action in three games and did not record a point. Played his final 17 NHL games with the Canucks during the 1982-83 season.
Gerry Minor Recovered from a broken ankle (suffered in January) in time to join the Canucks for the first game of the Conference Finals. His defensive play kept Hawk Denis Savard in check. Spent the next two seasons shuffling between Vancouver and the farm, before being relegated to minor league action permanently.
Lars Molin Capped off his "rookie" season by recording 11 points in the playoffs. Returned to Sweden after the 1983-84 season.
Roger Neilson Took over as coach from Harry Neale late in the season. Surrendered to referee Bob Myers during the Chicago series, which led to the creation of "Towel Power". Remained as head coach of the Canucks until he was fired during the 1983-84 season. Also served as coach for several other teams.
Harry Neale Suspended as coach for ten games after an incident in Quebec during March 1982. Allowed Roger Neilson to keep coaching for the entire playoff run because he didn't want to jinx it. Returned for two more stints as head coach, while working as General Manager from 1982-83 to 1984-85. Currently works as a hockey colour commentator.
Jim Nill Recorded seven points, including the goal which ended the longest game in Canuck history. Proved invaluable as a penalty killer. Spent another season and a half with the Canucks before being dealt to Boston in February 1984 for Peter McNab.
Darcy Rota Scored six goals during the playoffs (fourth on the team), including the series winning goal against the Los Angeles Kings. Set team record with 42 goals during 1982-83. Forced to retire during the 1984-85 season after a checking drill reinjured his nagging back.
Andy Schliebener Saw action in three of the playoff games. Played another 62 games over the next three seasons, before retiring after the 1985-86 season.
Stan Smyl Took over the captaincy late in the 1981-82 season from the injured Kevin McCarthy. Earned his place as the "heart and soul" of the team. Finished second on the team with 18 points. Stayed with the team until after the 1990-91 season, retiring as the Canucks' all-time leading point scorer. Currently coaching.
Harold Snepsts One of the veteran leaders on the team, playing some of the best hockey of his NHL career (despite his one gaffe which allowed Mike Bossy to score in overtime of the first game of the Finals). Spent another two seasons with the Canucks before being traded to Detroit in June 1984. Returned to the Canucks for the 1988-89 and 1989-90 seasons.
Tiger Williams Led the Canucks with 116 penalty minutes in the playoffs. Scored in overtime of game two against the Calgary Flames. Checked many of the other team's best players. Spent two more seasons with the Canucks before being traded to Detroit in August 1984 for Rob McClanahan (who never played for the Canucks).
     

Notes
Names in italics represent people who did not play for the Canucks during the 1982 playoffs.

Content copyright 2001-2010 David Marchak
This page last updated July 31, 2010