Thursday, March 8, 2012
Trevor Linden was drafted second over all by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft, but prior to joining the Canucks, he played for the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League where he won back to back Memorial Cups, including scoring 13 goals and 25 points in 16 playoff games in 1988.
Linden with Pat Quinn after being drafted by Vancouver
Once with Vancouver, he made an immediate impact, scoring 30 goals as a rookie. In his third year with the Canucks, he hit the 70 point mark for the first of three consecutive seasons and was named team captain at the age of 21.
During the 1994 playoffs, Linden helped lead the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Finals with 25 points in 24 games as Vancouver took the New York Rangers all the way to a Game 7.
Linden with the Campbell Bowl for winning the
Western Conference championship in 1994
Linden would set a career high in 1995-96 with 80 points, which included equalling his career high with 33 goals, which he accomplished three times.
After ten seasons, an emotional Linden was traded by the notorious trade happy Mike Keenan to the New York Islanders, where he played for the remainder of the 1997-98 season and all of the next before being dealt to the Montreal Canadiens for two seasons, which were hampered by injuries that limited him to 50 games the first season. After 57 games during his second season in Montreal, Linden was again on the move, this time to the Washington Captials for a brief stint of 12 games at the end of 2000-01 and the first 16 games of 2001-02, during which he scored only 4 goals and 7 points, before Linden was finally heading home to Vancouver after wandering in the hockey wilderness for four years.
Linden while with the Islanders
Now back with Vancouver, Linden played six more seasons, giving him 16 seasons with the Canucks, an all-time franchise high. It was during his second time with Vancouver that Linden began to reach various milestones in his career, such as playing in his 1,000th NHL game during the 2002-03 season and becoming the Canucks all-time leading scorer on this date in 2004 when his two assists game him his 674th point to pass Stan Smyl for the franchise record after having already broken Smyl's team record for the most most games played three weeks earlier when he played in his 897th game as well as the franchise mark for most goals in 2002-03 with his 263rd goal.
After a year away due to the NHL lockout, he became the first player to skate in 1,000 games for the Canucks in 2005-06, became the first Canuck to score 300 goals during the first game of the 2006-07 season and later registered 7 points in 12 playoff games to become the Canucks all-time playoff leader in goals (34), assists (61) and points (95). His final season of 2007-08 saw him eclipse Smyl's team record for most assists with his 412th.
At the conclusion of the season he would retire as the franchise's all-time leader in games played, with 1,140, and assists, with 415, as well as second in goals with 318.
Regarded as one of the classiest players in the league, Linden finished his 19 season NHL career with 375 total goals, 492 assists and 867 points and was named the recipient of the King Clancy Trophy in 1997. In 1998, Linden's #16 was retired by the Canucks, only the second number retired by the Canucks in their 30 year history after Smyl's #12 in 1991.
Linden's #16 being raised to the rafters
Not content with just playing and going home, Linden also was a player representative for the Canucks since 1990 and was elected president of the National Hockey League Player's Assoication (NHLPA) in 1998. Additionally, he has been involved in many charitable community service projects, as well as the Trevor Linden Foundation, which has earned him great respect and admiration in the Vancouver community as well as the Order of British Columbia in 2003.
Internationally, Linden played for Team Canada five times, first winning gold medal at the 1988 World Juniors, a silver medals at the 1991 World Championships and the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and playing in the 1998 Olympics and 1998 World Championships.
Today's featured jersey is a 2003-04 Vancouver Canucks Trevor Linden jersey. as worn during the season in which he became the Canuck's all-time leading scorer.
This style Canucks jersey was first worn in 1997-98, making it's debut in Tokyo, Japan for the Game ONe '97 event where the Canucks and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim played the first ever NHL games outside of North America to count in the regular season standings, with the Canucks winning the first of the pair of contests.
This style of jersey was a complete departure from the previous Canucks jerseys, which were black and yellow with red trim, while the new jerseys were a navy blue with dark red, sky blue and silver trim colors, all of which had never been used by the Canucks in their 27 year history. What really wrinkled some fans was the team's new main logo, that of a killer whale, or orca, leaping through broken ice in the shape of a "C", as the corporation which now owned the club was known as Orca Bay Sports & Entertainment, with many fans feeling the logo was more about the company that owned the team, rather than the team itself.
Still, the logo endured and the jerseys had a long run, remaining in use through the 2006-07 season, nine seasons in all, before the team reverted to their original blue and green colors, although retaining the leaping orca logo despite the parent company now being known as Canucks Sports & Entertainment.
Today's video section begins with a career retrospective of Linden's career and documents some of the more unfortunate jerseys he had to wear during his early days with Vancouver!
Here, Linden has the honor of carrying the Olympic torch prior to the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.