Trevor Linden speaks on Canucks captaincy and life after hockey

May 18 2023, 11:48 pm

After a 20-year pro hockey career and four years serving as the Vancouver Canucks’ president of hockey operations, Trevor Linden is happy just being a family guy now.

Though he’s proud of his thriving business (Club16 Trevor Linden Fitness is opening its 17th facility in Chilliwack next month), the Canucks legend really starts beaming when he talks about his five-year-old son, Roman.

“It’s been awesome. I’ve been retired for 15 years now. It’s been five years since I left the club in the president’s role,” Linden explained in an interview with Daily Hive.

“I’m spending a lot of time on the business and the business has been solid through the pandemic. We’re really seeing people get back to the gym for their social and their mental health.”

“I’m loving being a dad. Roman’s going to be six this summer, and my wife and I, who are older parents if you will, we’re loving parenting and just watching him grow.”

Linden, 53, played 1,382 games during his NHL career, but he’s not forcing his love of the game onto his son.

“I actually honestly do not care if he plays hockey. I prefer him not to actually, but he can do what he wants. So I put him in learn-to-skate when he was three and four years old, and he liked that.”

trevor linden wife and son

Trevor’s wife Cristina and son Roman (@trevor_linden/Instagram)

But when he tried hockey?

“He didn’t love it. One of his comments was, ‘You know, Dad, I don’t like pups hockey. That coach is so bossy… Dad, I really don’t want to play pups hockey. I just want to ski and mountain bike and play baseball.’ I said, ‘Well that’s perfect for me.'”

“So I’m not sure where that goes. Things change daily and weekly, but he’s a pretty cool kid. It’s been fun to grow with him. I just want him to find his passion, whatever that is.”

Raising awareness for concussions from intimate partner violence

Linden recently lent his voice to the YWCA in an effort to raise awareness around the astonishing number of concussions women suffer each year from intimate partner violence in Canada.

In a video released this week, Linden is seen telling a story about an apparent concussion and the after-effects.

“I was hit in the side of the head,” Linden says in the video. “I remember being confused; my ears were ringing. It’s hard to talk about. I still experience pain, mood swings, the headaches are debilitating.”

It’s a story we’ve come to expect to hear from an ex-hockey player. Except Linden says he’s never suffered a concussion before.

Linden was instead telling the story of a woman who suffered a concussion from an intimate partner.


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A post shared by Trevor Linden (@trevor_linden)

“I’m very interested in women’s equality and rights, and my wife and I talked a lot about it. We want our son to be aware. I think it’s an important message for his dad to be involved in that,” Linden said. “Obviously we see the incredibly tragic things happening in Iran or Afghanistan, and we think, ‘Oh, that’s over there.’ But then you realize that some of that is happening in our backyard. I just thought it was a really powerful cause, and meaningful.”

“The numbers are staggering… for every concussion in the National Hockey League, there’s 7,000 concussions across our country that women suffer at the hands of intimate partner violence. It’s a pretty powerful concept, and I was really proud to stand along [with the] YWCA, they do such amazing work with women and their families right across our country.”

Linden on the responsibility of being a captain in Vancouver

One hot topic for the Canucks this summer surrounds the team’s vacant captaincy and who will be next to wear the C.

Linden had a hand in drafting both Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes before he left the organization in the summer of 2018. Most believe that one of those two players will be the next Canucks captain — something Linden did in Vancouver for seven years.

“We drafted Elias and Quinn, and I knew these guys when they were young, and certainly they’ve just matured into really great players and solid people… I think either would be a good choice. They’re competitive kids. But, having said that, it’s a lot of responsibility. They’ve got several years under their belts, so both of them are probably ready for it.”

While the former captain wasn’t prepared to make a recommendation for who should wear the C, he did offer insight into the challenge it poses.

“When I think about great captains, I think about Henrik. When I think about great leaders, I think about Daniel and Henrik. The challenge of being a captain in Vancouver? It’s a hockey-first town. You are on the spot every day after practice, after pre-game skate, certainly after games. There’s a heavy toll there and there’s a big responsibility.

“I loved how Daniel and Henrik handled themselves. Whether they had a great game or a bad game or they won or they lost, they were there to answer the bell and that’s tough. That’s hard. It’s a great market to play in, playing in Canada is the best. Fans are passionate, they care. The downside of that is, they care. And when they care, they get really happy when you win and really unhappy when you lose.

“But, as a player, you wouldn’t want it any other way. But I mean, there can be a burden there and you’ve got to understand what that looks like. These guys have gotten some experience in this market, but you’ve got to accept that and you can’t push back on it. I say the more you resist, it will persist. You gotta accept it and dig in, and be there through good times and bad.”

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