The Canucks joined the league in 1970 as an expansion team along with the Buffalo Sabres. In its NHL history, the team has advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals three times, losing to the New York Islanders in 1982, the New York Rangers in 1994 and the Boston Bruins in 2011. They have won the Presidents' Trophy in back-to-back seasons as the team with the league's best regular-season record in the 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons. They won three division titles as a member of the Smythe Division from 1974 to 1993, and seven titles as a member of the Northwest Division from 1998 to 2013. The Canucks, along with the Sabres, are the two oldest teams to have never won the Stanley Cup.
The Canucks have retired six players' jerseys in their history—Pavel Bure (10), Stan Smyl (12), Trevor Linden (16), Markus Naslund (19), Daniel Sedin (22) and Henrik Sedin (33); all but Bure and Daniel Sedin have served as team captain. All but Näslund were on one of the three Stanley Cup Finals rosters. Smyl has the distinction of being the only Canuck to have his jersey number retired at their former arena, the Pacific Coliseum.