Spare a thought

For this man.

Tony Tanti, obtained by the Canucks in exchange for tough guy Curt Fraser during the 1982-83 season, was for many years the most consistent and prolific scorer in Canucks history.

In eight seasons with the Canucks, Tanti amassed 250 goals, including three 40-goal seasons (45 in ’83-84, 41 in ’86-87, and 40 in ’87-88).

Among his accomplishments, Tanti held the team record for hat-tricks, with ten.

That is, until Wednesday night’s game with the Minnesota Wild. Markus Naslund recorded a hat-trick, his tenth as a Canuck, moving him past Pavel Bure (nine) and into a tie with Tanti.

Tanti, for my money, was a better pure goal scorer than Naslund is. First of all, let me be emphatic in stating that Naslund is a much better hockey player, overall, than Tanti ever was. Tanti was an out-and-out goal poacher. Hence, many of his goals came on the power play, on tip-ins, in front of the net, etc.

But, it bears mention that Naslund has had the luxury of playing with a better supporting cast during his time as a Canuck than Tanti ever did.

What I am driving at is this: if Tanti were able to play with the kind of players that Naslund has, and the kind of team the Canucks have been over the course of Naslund’s career, his goal haul would be considerably larger than it is. He would certainly have a goal-scoring record that exceeds Naslund’s.



7 Responses to “Spare a thought”

  1. 1 Emmett Macfarlane November 24, 2007 at 11:42 am

    But Tanti also played in a different league too. 40-goal seasons were arguably easier to garner in the good ol’ ’80s, no?

  2. 2 Emmett Macfarlane November 26, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    what? you say discuss and then you don’t! bastard!

  3. 3 RJ November 26, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    Haha, I was hoping others would contribute as well but it appears it is you and me, buddy!

    I agree that Tanti played in the high-flying, high-scoring ’80s, though, to be fair, I don’t often hear people voicing similar sentiments about the limited transferability of records achieved by Gretzky, Lemieux, Yzerman, Hull, etc.

    Strangely enough, though, on that note, the Canucks never had a 50-goal scorer until Pavel Bure. Moreover, until Bure, Tanti was only the second Canuck to even get 40, which he did three times.

    I guess my point is that Tanti played on some absolutely dreadful Canucks teams, and still managed to score an impressive abundance of goals.

    Put him on a team with markedly better players, and I think he would have scored many, many more.

  4. 4 Anonymous November 26, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    …one might say that he had a knack for “flooring” the opposition that continues even to this day.

  5. 6 Paul November 27, 2007 at 3:55 am

    When Tanti was putting up these numbers so was Troy Murray, Michelle Goulet, Al Secord, Mark Hunter, Dave Christian and Scott Bjugstad. And if you can name three of the teams those players played for I would be impressed.

    What I am getting at is that goals were easier than to get into an argument on your other blog.

    Although I have some nostalgic feelings for Tanti, I believe him to of benifitted from a time of open hockey. If you say no one gives Gretzky that asterik besides his numbers during that time, well count me as someone who does.

    I think winning the Art Ross between 1995 and 2003 is more of an accomplishment than winning it in the 80’s.

    But I have few memories of highlight goals from the 90’s (Bure excluded), but remember many from the 80’s.

    The game was more offensive in the 80’s and allowed players of Tanti’s skill level to excel. Would he be a 50 goal scorer with better players around him- yes. But as the list of players demonstrates, 50 goals wasn’t an elite player achievement.

  6. 7 RJ November 27, 2007 at 9:30 am

    Paul, that is quite a thoughtful, reasoned, compelling post. As such, it surely has no place on this blog!

    Haha, seriously though, you make some good points. Rest assured, I still disagree, though. I maintain that Tony Tanti is a better pure goal scorer than a guy like Naslund, even though he is, admittedly, much less talented.

    After all, scoring 40 goals with Barry Pederson on your line is an accomplishment worthy of high praise, indeed.

    P.S. Chicago, Quebec (later Chicago), Chicago (later Toronto), half the teams in the league, Washington (later Boston), and I don’t know, in that order.

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