Trevor Linden speaks about Canucks 50th anniversary celebrations and life after hockey

Oct 25 2019, 4:31 pm

Trevor Linden will be a part of the Vancouver Canucks’ 50th anniversary celebrations.

That qualifies as a notable statement given the way he parted ways with the franchise, as well as his absence from opening night, where the team celebrated a number of former players.

It’s been 15 months to the day that the Canucks sent out a press release stating that Linden and the organization had “amicably” agreed to part ways. Since then, the team has been without one of its most popular figures.

But that will change this season.

In a telephone interview with Daily Hive, the Canucks legend confirmed he will be a willing participant in the 50th anniversary to some degree.

“Nothing specific at this point, but I’m in contact with Chris Brumwell (Canucks vice president of communications, fan, and community engagement) and his team, so I’ll definitely part of something along the way for sure.”

Asked if the Sedins’ jersey retirement would be something he’d be interested in, Linden said “Yeah, for sure. No question about it.”

Sedin Week

Instead of dedicating one night to the careers of Henrik and Daniel Sedin, the Canucks will celebrate “Sedin Week” in February.

There would be something missing if Linden would be unable to attend. He was a teammate of theirs for six seasons and worked with them during his time as Canucks President of Hockey Operations.

“Outside of what they’ve accomplished in their hockey careers, they’re incredible people,” Linden said. “I just feel so lucky that I was able to get to know those guys way back in 2001, got to play with them as long as I did, then watched them go onto greatness… And then I got to work with them again at the end. I’m very thankful for the time I got to spend with those guys.”

Like a lot of people, Linden doesn’t think we’ll see two players like them ever again.

“The one thing that is special about these guys is I don’t know that we’ll ever see people play the game like they did. You can talk about great combinations — Gretzky-Kurri, Hull and Oates — but these guys had this special connection between them and they did things that I don’t think hockey fans had ever seen before.

“They didn’t do it out of power and speed, they did it out of the connection they had and just their smarts and their ability to think the game so well. That’s what made it fun for me to watch.”

Sedin Week will begin with “Legends Night” on February 10 with the expectation that the team will invite all the other players that have had their jersey retired by the team — Stan Smyl, Markus Naslund, Pavel Bure, and Linden — to attend. Henrik and Daniel will have their jerseys officially retired two nights later on February 12, while February 16 is “Legacy Night” focusing on the Sedins’ impact on the community.

Life after hockey

Hockey doesn’t consume Linden’s life anymore.

“I don’t watch much,” he admitted.

The 49-year-old described himself as a “full-time dad” to his two-and-half-year-old son. “It’s been pretty awesome to be around a lot,” he said.

Linden is also heavily involved in the fitness business as an owner of Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness and Orangetheory Fitness.

“The real growth has been Orangetheory Fitness which has been fun to be back and part of that,” Linden said of the company that recently opened its 100th studio in Canada, making it the fastest growing fitness brand in the country. Linden and his ownership group are preparing to open their 10th club in Abbotsford next week.

“After that, [I’m doing the] things I love to do, which are skiing, mountaineering, riding my bike, and enjoying life.”

“I’ve got a pretty good balance.”

Opening night

 

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Linden says the reason he was unable to attend opening night was because he was preparing to head out of town the next day on a fishing trip with his brother, and wanted to spend the time with his son.

“I wanted to put him to bed that night, because I was leaving the next day.”

While he didn’t watch the ceremonies live, he did catch some of it on Twitter.

On seeing Kirk McLean back in full 94 gear: “That was cool. It was fun to see those colours, and obviously Kirk was such a special guy. I loved playing with him and we had a lot of fun when we played together.”

On the ovation for Todd Bertuzzi: “Todd’s time here was filled with greatness. He has a special place in Canucks fans’ hearts because he was such a big part of that team we had in the early 2000s.”

“I just think that people, fans especially — sports fans, hockey fans, Canuck fans — people move on and they want to celebrate the great things that he did and not get hung up on one incident and an unfortunate situation.”

Advice for the new captain

Getting the captaincy is a whole lot different today than when Linden first had the C stitched on his jersey in 1990.

Linden was first a co-captain at age 20, before getting the mantle all to himself the next year.

“For me, it was one of those things. I was young, and that’s what I wanted. I wanted that pressure, I wanted that expectation. And I wanted that responsibility… We were just coming into some good years there with the job that Pat Quinn had done and I had some great people around me that were very supportive and that’s always important for every captain.”

While Horvat now has to deal with similar pressure and expectations that comes with wearing the C, Linden certainly didn’t have to deal with the same fanfare.

Horvat’s anointing included a one-season wait, followed by an elaborate ceremony at centre ice.

“We didn’t do those sorts of public presentations. It was probably the coach mentioned it in a scrum after a practice. It’s very different from [when] I was named captain. It’s a very different way of doing things. It was very fun and a tremendous honour. I know Bo will do a great job.”

When asked to give advice for the new captain, Linden said: “Bo doesn’t need my advice. He’s a great kid and has a ton of respect for the game. He’ll be fine.”