I can map my serious interest in the Canucks to Trevor Linden’s career. Growing up, I always kind of followed the team, but I didn’t get seriously interested until my teens, about when Linden entered the league. I don’t really remember his first game or anything, but I do recall the city being abuzz about this 18-year-old, drafted second over all behind Mike Modano. Modano scored more goals over the years, but I’m glad the team got Linden (that was a good draft year—
four five great players in the top ten picks).
Like so many Vancouverites, Linden became my favourite player. I liked his intensity, his tenacity and his endless willingness to do the hard work on the ice. He was never the fastest skater, but I did like the little hitching half-step he took with his first stride. Especially in the early years, he wore his heart on his sleeve. Nobody seemed to feel a defeat more dearly in the media scrum following a game. I remember 1994 with fondness, how he put the team on his back against the Rangers and almost carried them to the promise land of the Stanley Cup.
Wayne Gretzky said that the legs are the first thing to go, and you could see Linden slowing down in recent years. He deserves a break. He’s sweated blood in the NHL for nineteen years. I hope the organization will find a spot for him if he wants it. And as Rebecca suggests, I hope they name a street after him. Sign the petition if you hope so, too.
Cue the cheesy tribute video: