Vancouver Canucks' defenceman Barry Wilkins dies of lung cancer at 64

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VANCOUVER - Barry Wilkins, who scored the first franchise goal for the Vancouver Canucks, has passed away of lung cancer at age 64.

Wilkins spent five seasons with the Canucks, scoring the team's first goal on Oct. 9, 1970.

The Toronto native broke into the league with Boston during the 1966-'67 season, but played just eight games with the Bruins through three seasons.

Wilkins moved to Vancouver for the 1970-'71 season before being traded in 1974 to Pittsburgh for two seasons.

"We are saddened by the recent news and on behalf of the entire Vancouver Canucks organization, I would like to extend my sincere sympathies to Barry's family," Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said in a statement.

The five-foot-11, 190-pound blue-liner had 27 goals and 125 assists in 398 career NHL games.

He also spent one season with Edmonton in the WHA, and later retired in the AHL in '79.

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