I like how you say "only" 52 years.
I can out-pedantic you though!
The Canucks have only been in the NHL since 1970 which means their drought has actually been 40 years (i'm confident this will be season 41). Before that they were in the minors.
The professional league the Canucks were part of before 1970 were not the minor leagues, they were a secondary professional league. The skills of the PCHL and then WHL were comparable skill of the Rangers, Bruins and Blackhawks of the 'original six'.
The NHL expanded in 1967 specifically because the WHL play was good enough to rival the NHL in skill and was being considered the second major league. The addition of LA, Denver and San Francisco and plans to build a large arena in Vancouver (Pacific Colisuem).
In 1967 the San Francisco Seals of the WHL joined the NHL, Los Angles was also granted a franchise. Vancouver was left out because Toronto and Montreal did not want to share the Hockey Night in Canada money. The Vancouver Cancucks of the WHL were allowed to join the NHL as an expansion team in 1970. Two more WHL teams were to join the NHL, the Seattle Totems and Denver Spurs in 1974-76 time frame. The NHL reneged on allowing them to join. One team went to the WHA.
The current Canucks are considered to be descended from the WHL/PCHL Canucks. A number of the WHL players played for the NHL Canucks.
The WHL was specifically now allowed to challenge for the Stanley Cup, so for 25 years of the Canucks, they were not allowed to play for the Cup as had been the case when the PCHA and NHA/NHL played for the Cup from 1914 to 1926.