The Vancouver Canucks franchise and its fervent fanbase received horrible news this week when it became clear that Derek Dorsett would be unable to continue his NHL career due to recurring neck issues. Dorsett became a Canuck in 2014 and proceeded to play parts of four seasons in Vancouver, at times as the sole source of pugilism on the team. Despite his relatively small stature, Dorsett never backed down from a challenge, and can now retire knowing that he truly “left it all out on the ice.” Here are ten of Dorsett’s greatest moments in a Canuck uniform.
Dorsett’s First Canuck Goal Is a Shorthanded Winner
Dorsett’s very first goal as a Canuck has a lot going for it. It’s a shorthanded snipe that comes after a forced turnover by the opposing goaltender. It also happens to come against the hated Edmonton Oilers, and it would prove to be a game-winner.
Setting Up Horvat’s First Goal
Bo Horvat has given Dorsett credit for being an important mentor, and the two spent some time together on the fourth line when Horvat was just breaking into the league. In fact, it was Dorsett who set-up Horvat’s first career goal, with a slick backhand pass into the slot.
Derek Vs. Goliath
Dorsett may not have won his fight against John Scott, but is there any moment that better epitomizes his courage than choosing to take on the 6’8” behemoth? At least Dorsett did better than Alex Bolduc did!
Taking On Deryk Engelland…Twice!
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a player take two fighting majors in a single play, but Dorsett managed to turn the trick by battling the heavyweight Deryk Engelland twice. Engelland is a top-tier fighter, so for Dorsett to tussle with him not once, but twice, on the same play is an impressive feat. The fact he came back for Round Two to defend Dan Hamhuis is just vintage Dorsett.
Shutting Down McDavid
Fans wondered how effective Derek Dorsett would be after returning from cervical fusion surgery in 2017, and they got their answer in the very first game. Dorsett was at his pesky best, employed by Travis Green to shutdown Connor McDavid. Not only was McDavid held off the scoresheet, he was noticeably frustrated at Dorsett’s efforts.
Shorthanded Snipe Against The Leafs
Take a look at all the effort that Dorsett puts into getting ahead of the Leaf defenders to create this shorthanded two-on-one. He then proceeds to snipe the puck top corner with perfect precision. Dorsett was a player who really “earned” a lot of his goals.
Dorsett Does His Best Alex Burrows Dragon-Slaying Impression
I love how similar this goal is to Alex Burrows’ famous dragon-slaying goal, which also came against the Blackhawks. It could be seen as symbolic for how Dorsett took over Burrows’ role as number one team troublestarter.
Slapping The Bass
This is probably Dorsett’s best fight as a Canuck in terms of sheer entertainment value. It’s a draw, but Dorsett certainly gives Cody Bass all he can handle via a truly ambidextrous assault. What teammate wouldn’t get pumped up witnessing that?
Taking On ALL The Bruins
Dorsett never hesitated to protect his fellow Canucks. In this scene, Dorsett immediately responds to a questionable hit on Bo Horvat by Zac Rinaldo, and then gets up from that and tries to fight another stray Bruins goon just for the hell of it. Dorsett’s righteous fury was a sight to behold.
Returning From Cervical Fusion To Continue Protecting His Teammates
Some openly wondered whether Derek Dorsett would ever fight again after his serious neck injury and subsequent surgery, but he quickly showed that he was still doing to do whatever is necessary to protect his teammates. When Mark Borowiecki took a big run at Alex Burmistrov, Dorsett was immediately on the scene to hand out some pugilistic justice.