Wednesday, June 11, 2008

End of an Era in Vancouver

It's only a matter of time before the number 16 hangs from the rafters in General Motors Place, but now it's even moreso the case, now that former Canucks captain, Trevor Linden has announced his retirement from the game after 19 seasons in the NHL.

Trevor Linden of the Vancouver CanucksAs it doesn't come as a terrible surprise to Lotus Land (the lap around the rink in the final home game was a telling clue), it is certainly a substantial loss to the Canucks' line-up, when it comes to leadership and veteran savvy, that is very hard to replace. His passing seasons were not big production years in the scoring ranks, but Linden did bring a lot of different qualities to the Canucks, when he cracked the line-up in the past couple seasons.

Linden did enjoy six 30-goal seasons in his career and was halfway to Doug Jarvis' ironman streak before injuries started to get the best of him and the slow decline into the third-line and role playing really begun. Being traded from Vancouver to Long Island, Montreal and Washington before making his return to the Canucks in 2001, also took a toll on his career and his numbers, as he was always known as a Canuck.

Linden also played for Team Canada on five separate occasions, including the World Juniors and the '98 Olympic team.

Well, it certainly is an end of an era for the Sherpa as well. Trevor Linden is heads and tails above everyone else as his favourite player, so it will be something else not to have him in Canucks blue, but head coach Alain Vigneault was starting to make it an easy transitiion, as he scratched Linden on a regular basis in the early part of the 2007/'08 season, despite his hard work in the playoffs the Spring previous. Linden embodied the city, the team and the community with all of his hard work and was a role model to many. He'll be missed on the ice, but hopefully, with any luck, his presence will continue with the organization in some capacity, to keep his spirit and legacy alive and well in Vancouver.

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