Trevor Linden has been named as the new president of the Vancouver Canucks.
Linden returns to lead the team that he played on for 16 seasons, including seven as team captain.
This comes one day after Mike Gillis was fired as president and GM and Linden told Steve Darling on our Morning News that he has had no offers from the Canucks. “I called Steve [Darling] this morning and apologized for being put in a situation that was very uncomfortable. I had a good conversation with him and apologized to him and Samantha. It was an impossible situation to be in and out of respect for the process and certainly Mike and his family, I had to do what I did,” said Linden at the press conference at Rogers Arena Wednesday morning.
In his new role, Linden will be responsible for all hockey operations, including the coaching and scouting staffs, player procurement and development, and minor league affiliations and operations.
“Today is a real honour. I came to Vancouver 26 years ago and I have never left. I love this city. It is my home and the Canucks have always been part of my family,” said Linden.
“I’m passionate about the Canucks and I want to win – just like our fans. I believe in this team and share the organization’s committed to excellence on and off of the ice. I am looking forward to getting started – getting to know everyone in the organization, and working together to win the Stanley Cup for this great city and Province.”
WATCH: Our cameraman caught Trevor Linden walking into Rogers Arena ahead of the announcement:
Although a new general manager for the team has not yet been announced, Linden said he has already started the process of looking for someone to fill the role. He said he met coach John Tortorella for the first time on Wednesday morning, but would say little about any decisions around that role. “Any coaching decision will be made in due time after a thorough evaluation,” he said.
Before coming out to address the media, Linden called his mentor, and former Canucks coach, president and GM, Pat Quinn. “I’ve got a lot to learn, I’ve always been someone that’s loved to learn,” said Linden. “After the decision was made [to become president], I’ve been super excited.”
“I come from the school that fundamental sound hockey is winning hockey,” he added. “There’s only one way to play and that’s the right way.”
Francesco Aquilini, chairman of Canucks Sports & Entertainment said the organization believes in Trevor’s leadership abilities. “His 20 years of NHL experience including seven as team captain, his role as NHLPA President, community leader and businessman offers a very special skill set; one that will positively shape the direction of this club in the future.”
However, Aquilini also wanted to thank Mike Gillis for his time he spent with the Canucks. “I’d like to thank Mike Gillis for his years of dedication,” he said.
But now is the time to look forward and Linden will make all the decisions on hockey-related personnel.
This was a very disappointing season,” said Aquilini. “Just like our fans we wanted more, and that’s why we’re here with Trevor so he can lead our organization into the future.”
“Today is about change, today is about going forward. The best years of the Canucks are ahead of us.”
Linden was originally selected by Vancouver second overall in the 1988 NHL entry draft, and was named to the All-Rookie Team, was a finalist for the Calder Trophy and was named the Hockey News Rookie-of-the-Year following the 1988-89 season.
He played for the Canucks from 1988 to 1998 and from 2001 to 2008. He completed his NHL career ranking 38th in games played, tied for 107th in goals scored and ranked 111th in points scored in NHL history. He also holds the Canucks playoff records for the most games played.
He retired from the Canucks on the 20th anniversary of his draft day on June 11, 2008.
GALLERY: A brief look at Trevor Linden’s career with the Canucks:
Reaction on social media has been mostly favourable:
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