The Vancouver Canucks broke up the dog days of summer rather emphatically on Wednesday, announcing that Trevor Linden was leaving his role as President of Hockey Operations.
The media release said Linden and the team “amicably” parted ways, though there are multiple reports from members of the local media that Linden wasn’t on the same page as owner Francesco Aquilini or GM Jim Benning.
Not sure Linden and ownership always saw eye to eye. Believe he would have stepped down if told to gas WD after his second year behind bench. #canucks
— Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) July 26, 2018
Whether Linden quit or he was pushed out the door isn’t 100% clear, because when it comes No. 16 and the City of Vancouver, things need to be handled delicately. Firing Linden would be a PR nightmare, as would having one of the most popular players in team history show that he was at odds with the current regime.
Despite the team’s lack of success under his guidance, Linden remains popular with many people in Vancouver because of his playing days and work in the community.
Perhaps the split was indeed ‘amicable,’ though you have to think that was always going to be the message the day Linden left the organization.
With that said, Linden tried to calm the waters with a letter sent to Canucks season ticket holders. He expressed optimism about the team’s future and thanked fans for their support.
Here’s the full letter:
This is a difficult day, as I am writing to let you know that I am leaving my role as President of Hockey Operations for the Vancouver Canucks. This team and this game hold a special place in my life and I leave very optimistic about the direction the Canucks are headed.
Most of all I am excited about the highly skilled group of prospects and young stars that we have assembled. From ownership to hockey and business operations, the club is as strong as its been in years. Above it all, I can feel our fans’ sense of hope again and I know the future for the Canucks is very bright.
I love this city and this province, and I will always have a special relationship with this team and Canucks fans. I am going to step back from the spotlight for a while and enjoy the summer with my young family.
Thank you all for your amazing support. I am sure I will see you around town.