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The Canucks left Mark Messier off Quinn Hughes’ captaincy announcement

One former Canucks captain was conspicuously absent from the team's graphic announcing Quinn Hughes as the 15th captain in franchise history.
Quinn Hughes' announcement as the 15th captain of the Vancouver Canucks was conspicuously missing one former captain.

The Vancouver Canucks announced Quinn Hughes as their 15th captain on Monday morning with a lovely graphic featuring all of the past captains in franchise history.

Well, almost all of them. If you count the captains in the graphic, the tally comes one short of 15, including Hughes. One of the most well-known captains in NHL history is missing from the picture: Mark Messier.

That’s for good reason. While Messier is revered for his leadership everywhere else in the NHL — there’s even a leadership award named after him — in Vancouver, he’s reviled. Messier is undoubtedly the most hated player in the history of the Canucks.

The reasons why Messier is the team’s greatest villain are multifarious. He took Wayne Maki’s unofficially retired number 11, took the captaincy from Trevor Linden, lacked any of the intensity and physicality that marked his game before he joined the Canucks, saw the team miss the playoffs in all three of his seasons in Vancouver, and was responsible for the Canucks hiring Mike Keenan, dividing the locker room and dismantling the team.

So, it’s probably a good thing the Canucks’ PR team left Messier off the graphic. It's not even the first time Messier has been conspicuously absent from a list of Canucks captains.

Everyone else who wore the “C” in Vancouver is there, at least officially. There’s video evidence of Alex Mogilny wearing the “C” for a game against the Atlanta Thrashers in the 1999-2000 season when Messier was injured, for example, but Mogilny was never officially the captain. It's entirely possible this happened at other times in the past before it became standard to just have three alternates in games where the captain is injured.

And, technically speaking, Roberto Luongo never actually wore the “C” when he was captain of the Canucks as it’s against the rules for a goaltender to wear a letter on their jersey, but let’s not get pedantic.

The graphic may have left off Messier, but they remembered other captains, even if their time with the “C” was brief. Andre Boudrias and Chris Oddleifson were captains for one season each, but there they are on the left side in their stick-in-rink finery.

Two players were captains for even less time than Boudrias and Oddleifson but made the graphic. Dan Quinn and Doug Lidster were co-captains with Trevor Linden in the 1990-91 season, so only wore the “C” for a portion of the Canucks’ games. Quinn was even traded near the end of the season, so didn’t even last a full season as co-captain.

In fact, Quinn and Lidster spent so little time as captain that the Canucks evidently don’t have any pictures of either of them wearing the “C”. Both of the images featured on the captaincy graphic had to have the “C” photoshopped in.

Embed from Getty Images


Embed from Getty Images

Full credit to the Canucks’ media department, because that’s some fine photoshopping.

The Canucks went to the effort of adding the “C” to photos of Doug Lidster and Dan Quinn so they could be included in the announcement of Quinn Hughes’s captaincy. That just hammers home how much they didn’t want to include Mark Messier.

They made the right call.

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