Linden With the Lid Off
Greg Wyshynski has a nice post up at FanHouse today that highlights what is, quite frankly, an embarrassing situation with the Vancouver Canucks and Trevor Linden.
I'm a B.C. boy; I know the story on Linden. Airlifted in right off the Medicine Hat farm as an 18-year-old, second-overall pick he became the face of a franchise that hasn't had many, scoring the equivalent of 30 goals a season in seven of his first eight years (prorating his lockout-shortened totals, of course).
Linden may have never been a 'star', but he's been Canuck No. 1 for close to two decades. If the team feels he's outlived his usefulness — which seems ridiculous given the fine year he had — well then, it's up to Dave Nonis, Alain Vigneault and company to put him into a front office role and call it the player's decision.
Dragging this whole thing out and leaving Linden in the free-agent bargain bin all summer is a joke. His jersey is headed to GM Place's rafters the minute he retires, and while this is an organization unaccustomed to dealing with anyone of any historical significance given the utter mediocrity of that history, it's time to get this silly business over with.
Few other franchises would treat the twilight of their sporting hero's career like this.
- Iain McIntyre of the Vancouver Sun had a good piece on this issue today that somehow escaped me earlier