The Vancouver Canucks
raised Markus Naslund
’s No. 19 to the rafters of Rogers Arena in a ceremony prior to Saturday night's game against Tampa Bay. Naslund’s number joined Stan Smyl’s No. 12 and Trevor Linden
’s No. 16 as the only ones to be retired in the history of the franchise.
The event featured a tribute video highlighting Naslund’s 15-year NHL career, a video message from close friend and former teammate Todd Bertuzzi
, and a video showing the Canucks new "Hall of Heroes" exhibit. The ceremony also included a special Canucks for Kids Fund presentation unveiling a new sports equipment center to be created in honor of the Naslunds. Near the conclusion of the ceremony, Naslund, who was joined by his wife Lotta, son Alex, daughters Rebecca and Isabella, and parents Sture and Ulla, addressed the fans with an emotional speech prior to his number being officially retired.
Naslund retired from the NHL following the 2008-09 season as the Canucks all-time leader in points with 756. Naslund played 12 of his 15 NHL seasons in a Canucks uniform and was the captain from 2000-01 to 2007-08. Naslund led the team in scoring for a club-record seven seasons, scored 30 or more goals six times and had three consecutive seasons with 40 or more goals.
Naslund won the Lester B. Pearson Award (now the Ted Lindsay
Award) as the League’s Most Outstanding Player as voted on by the players in 2002-03 and was a First-Team NHL All-Star in a franchise-record three consecutive seasons (2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04).
In addition to his on-ice success, Naslund and his family were committed to charitable initiatives in British Columbia. Throughout his 12 years in Vancouver, Naslund was devoted to supporting the Canucks signature charities and helping raise funds for those in need. For many years he hosted underprivileged children in “Nazzy’s Suite 19” and was deeply connected with Canuck Place and BC Children’s Hospital throughout his entire career in Vancouver.