Trevor Linden is back with the Vancouver Canucks. It just feels right, doesn’t it?
Linden was introduced on Wednesday as the new Canucks President, Hockey Operations and Alternate Governor, replacing Mike Gillis who previously held the job of both general manager and president.
In his role, Linden will be responsible for all hockey operations, including the coaching and scouting staffs, player procurement and development, and minor league affiliations and operations.
Linden is the franchise leader in games played and playoff points. His jersey is one of only four to hang from the rafters at Rogers Arena, and he is the most popular player in franchise history.
“It’s my honor to officially welcome Trevor Linden home in his new role as President of Hockey Operations for the Canucks,” said Francesco Aquilini, Chairman of Canucks Sports & Entertainment, in a statement. “We believe in Trevor’s leadership abilities. His 20 years of NHL experience including seven as team captain, his role as NHLPA President, community leader and businessman offers a very special skill set; one that will positively shape the direction of this club in the future.”
“Today is a real honour,” said Linden in a statement. “I came to Vancouver 26 years ago and I have never left. I love this city. It is my home and the Canucks have always been part of my family.”
“I’m passionate about the Canucks and I want to win – just like our fans. I believe in this team and share the organization’s committed to excellence on and off of the ice. I am looking forward to getting started – getting to know everyone in the organization, and working together to win the Stanley Cup for this great city and province.”
But fans shouldn’t get too distracted with the Linden brand. Linden has a reputation as a nice guy, but he will need to be able to make tough decisions. Linden’s first order of business will be to find a new general manager and, indirectly, decide on the future of head coach John Tortorella.
Trevor Linden had a successful career as a hockey player and clearly has a high hockey IQ, but will that success translate into a role in management? We will soon find out.