Wednesday, August 15, 2007

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.

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At 5:55 p.m., August 15, 2007, Blogger saskhab said...

They probably should've had this meeting earlier, but I don't think they're doing him a disservice unless the Canucks don't want him back at all.

Sometimes, though, coaches outthink themselves. They complicate things that don't need to be complicated. Vaigneault might be guilty of that here. I think he wants him back, and expects it to be in a smaller role, but in the end he'll end up leaning on Trevor as much as he did last year.

At 7:02 p.m., August 15, 2007, Blogger JTE said...

Maybe the team isn't interested in giving proper treatment to one of the big guns in the NHLPA.

At 8:14 p.m., August 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's hope all the best for Trevor. At least he has something to fall back on...

Have you seen her wife?

The best part... Hint: Elaine's Christmas card in Seinfeld.

At 9:36 p.m., August 15, 2007, Blogger allan said...

The best part is that his wife has nipples?

You, sir, need to stop dating mannequins.

At 9:47 p.m., August 15, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

It's gotta be the off-season. Anonymous has been making less and less sense as August drags on...

At 9:59 p.m., August 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry. It's just that Vancouver rain and T-shirt... I got carried away.

Trevor is still a player that I respect a lot.

Ps. I haven't dated mannequins after I lost my itch.


At 10:42 p.m., August 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a B.C. boy and a Canucks SUPERFAN;


At 10:50 p.m., August 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It may have something more to do with icetime. Coach V., realistic about what an aging Linden could accomplish, sat him a few times last year and it didn't go over well. Could be that Coach wants Linden to accept a 50-60GP sked at the vet's minimum, while Linden might be thinking - wrongly, I'd suggest - that he's a useful everyday player.
The sooner Linden acknowledges that he's 10 years past his due date and takes that front office job, the better for all concerned.

At 11:05 p.m., August 15, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

But the team could have honestly worked those issues out before Linden even became a free agent. To keep things undecided at this point is ridiculous.

At 12:47 a.m., August 16, 2007, Anonymous Frank said...

James, have you ever had company over who don't know when its time to leave. You don't want to be rude and tell them to go so you give them subtle hints and signals, but they are either too dense to pick up on them or just don't want to leave.

Well, thats whats happening with the Canucks and Linden. And I'm getting tired of the Canucks being blamed for this when its Linden who is not picking up on the hints that its time to go.

At the end of the season Nonis - when asked if he would offer Linden a new contract - said it was up to Linden if he wanted to return and that there was no rush to re-sign him. Now if Nonis really wanted Linden back he would have praised his performance and said the Canucks would try very hard to re-sign him as soon as possible. But he didn't say that.

That was the hint to Linden that the Canucks din't want him back - but they weren't going to embarrass him by saying it publicly. Instead they gave Linden the room and time to retire on his own terms.

However, Linden is either too dense to pick up on these subtleties or is just trying to 'milk" the Canucks for more money knowing that Nonis would have a public relations disaster on his hands if Linden signed elsewhere.

Remember that while Linden would be given a front office job with the Canucks, its not going to pay him anywhere near the $800k a year he wants for playing with the Canucks.

I really like Linden but I'm starting to lose respect for him as I think he is just trying to "milk" the team.

And as for that front office job, the Canucks better confine it to public relations. Given the mess he made at the NHLPA over Saskin's hiring it shows he has no business acumen or knowledge of basic corporate governance.

At 12:51 a.m., August 16, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

My problem with that argument, Frank, is that Linden can still play. He was one of the Canucks' best forwards in the playoffs (which, admittedly, isn't saying much) and can definitely still contribute.

He doesn't want to retire, and has repeatedly said that this summer, so if Nonis/Vigneault really don't want him, he'll just shuffle off to another team.

Not that the Canucks are exactly drowning in decent checking forwards.

At 8:48 a.m., August 16, 2007, Blogger Chemmy said...

80GP, 25 points, and a -6. I bet a lot of teams are going to be lining up to sign Linden.

Who am I kidding? The Islanders would love him.

At 11:39 a.m., August 16, 2007, Blogger Kel said...

I'm a B.C. boy and a Canucks SUPERFAN;

James is not a fan of the current Canucks team for sure. It's rather apparent that he didn't predict or enjoy the kind of success this version of the Canucks experienced the past regular and post season. For the record, James claims that he's not a fan of any particular NHL team. I understand that some people from Alberta may feel that every one from BC is a Canucks superfan, but James isn't one.


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