Trevor Linden: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Born April 11, 1970 (1970-04-11) (age 39),
Medicine Hat, AB, CAN
6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
220 lb (100 kg; 15 st 10 lb)
Position Centre/right wing
Shoots Right
Pro clubs Vancouver Canucks
Washington Capitals
Montreal Canadiens
New York Islanders
Ntl. team  Canada
NHL Draft 2nd overall, 1988
Vancouver Canucks
Playing career 1988 – 2008

Trevor Linden, OBC (born April 11, 1970, in Medicine Hat, Alberta) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player. He played centre and right wing with four different teams: the Vancouver Canucks (in two stints), New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, and Washington Capitals. Before joining the NHL in 1988, Linden helped the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League (WHL) win consecutive Memorial Cup championships.[1] In addition to appearing in two NHL All-Star Games, Linden was a member of the 1998 Canadian Olympic team and participated in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.

Throughout his career, Linden has been recognized as a respected leader on and off the ice.[2][3] He was named captain of the Canucks at the age of 21, making him one of the youngest captains in league history. While captaining the Canucks, Linden led the team to within a game of winning the Stanley Cup in 1994. It was during this time that he began to be called Captain Canuck. In 1998 he was elected President of the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), a position he held for eight years.[4] As President, he played an instrumental role in the 2004–05 NHL lockout, including negotiations with league owners.[5] Off the ice, Linden has taken an active role in charities, and was awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership on the ice and humanitarian contributions off the ice in 1997,[6] as well as the NHL Foundation Player Award in 2008. After 19 seasons in the NHL, Linden retired on June 11, 2008, twenty years to the day after he was drafted into the NHL.[7] Linden's jersey number 16 was retired by the Canucks on December 17, 2008, the second number retired by the team.

Early life

Trevor Linden's grandfather, Nick van der Linden, immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands in 1929.[8] He ran a construction company until his son Lane, Trevor's father, replaced him in 1979.[9] Trevor was born in Medicine Hat to Lane and Edna Linden. Linden was a skilled athlete; despite hockey being his top priority, he also participated in baseball, golf, volleyball, basketball, and speed skating.[10] An excellent student in school, he was offered a scholarship to Princeton University to play for their hockey team; instead, Linden chose to stay in Medicine Hat and play with the local major junior team, the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL.[11] Linden grew up watching the Tigers and idolized Lanny McDonald, who played in Medicine Hat before he joined the NHL.[12]

After one season playing with the Medicine Hat Midget Tigers of the Alberta Midget Hockey League (AMHL), Linden joined the WHL Tigers for the final five games of the 1985–86 regular season, where he scored two goals; he also appeared in six playoff games, scoring one goal. The next season, at the age of 16, he made the team full-time. In his first full season in the WHL, Linden had 36 points in 72 games, and then had nine points in 20 playoff games, including two goals in the championship game, helping Medicine Hat win their first Memorial Cup as Canadian junior champions.[13] The next year, Linden had 110 points in 67 games, and led the Tigers to their second consecutive Memorial Cup title.[14] During the 1988 WHL playoffs, Linden set a WHL playoff record by scoring the fastest goal from the start of a game, scoring seven seconds into a 6-5 Tigers win over the Saskatoon Blades on April 15 1988.[15] At the 1988 NHL Entry Draft, the Vancouver Canucks selected Linden second overall, after the Minnesota North Stars selected Mike Modano.[16]

NHL career

Trevor Linden and Pat Quinn at the 1988 NHL Entry Draft, where the Canucks selected Linden 2nd overall

Vancouver Canucks (1988–1998)

Linden made his NHL debut on October 6, 1988 against the Winnipeg Jets, aged 18.[17] He scored his first goal on October 18, 1988, against Kelly Hrudey of the New York Islanders and later, on November 17, he scored his first hat trick against the Minnesota North Stars.[18][19] Linden finished the season tied for the team lead in goals (30) and second for points (59). He was the first Canucks rookie to score 30 goals.[13][20] Linden also became the first rookie to win the Cyclone Taylor Award, given to the Canucks' most valuable player.[20] He was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team, and finished second to Brian Leetch, of the New York Rangers, in voting for the Calder Trophy, given to the rookie of the year.[21] The Canucks made the playoffs in the 1988–89 season, for the first time in three years, and Linden scored seven points in the Canucks' seven-game series loss to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Calgary Flames.[16]

In his sophomore NHL season, Linden finished second on the team in goals, with 21, and points, 51, and finished third in assists with 30. The following year, he was one of three Canucks to share a rotating captaincy (the others being Doug Lidster and Dan Quinn).[1] Linden led the team with 37 assists and 70 points, and made his first appearance in an NHL All-Star Game, where he was the youngest player.[22] At the age of 21, he was made sole captain of the team,[23] becoming the youngest Canucks captain.[24] That season, Linden led the Canucks in scoring for a second straight year with 75 points (31 goals and 44 assists), leading the Canucks to their first division title since the 1974–75 season.[20] They repeated as Smythe Division champions the following year, setting franchise records for wins and points. For the third straight season, Linden surpassed 30 goals and 70 points, finishing with totals of 33 goals and 72 points.[16]

Trevor Linden and Kirk McLean after the Canucks won game 6 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals in Vancouver

In the 1993–94 season, Linden scored 32 goals, the fifth time in six seasons he had scored at least 30, but his points total fell to 61 as the Canucks finished 10 points behind the division leader. Although they were the seventh seed in the playoffs, the Canucks reached the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 12 years and second time in team history. Considered the underdogs against the first place New York Rangers captained by Mark Messier, the Canucks initially fell behind three games to one but pushed the series to seven games. In game seven, Linden scored twice (the next player to get two goals in a game seven was Alex Tanguay in 2001) but the Canucks lost, 3–2.[25] Linden finished second on the team in playoff scoring, with 12 goals and 25 points.[20]

In the 1995–96 season, Linden had 33 goals, 47 assists and 80 points, the most he has ever collected in all three statistical categories.[26] The following season marked the end of Linden's ironman streak; between October 4, 1990 and December 3, 1996, he appeared in 482 consecutive games, the longest in the league at the time.[27] The streak established a Canucks record (broken in 2007 by Brendan Morrison).[28] In his 49 games that season, he scored nine goals and 31 assists. At the conclusion of the season, the NHL recognized Linden's contributions to the Vancouver community and awarded him the King Clancy Memorial Trophy.[27]

At the start of the 1997–98 season, the Canucks added free agent Mark Messier, a six-time Stanley Cup winner, and manager/coach Mike Keenan, who were, respectively, captain and coach, of the New York Rangers when they defeated Vancouver in the 1994 Stanley Cup finals. Keenan's hiring was as a result of Pat Quinn being dismissed as general manager, and Keenan also assumed the title of bench boss by firing head coach Tom Renney early in the season. According to some accounts, Linden initially gave up the team captaincy to Messier out of respect, but later regretted the move as he felt that Messier's invasion of the dressing room was hostile.[29] Friction developed between Linden and Keenan early in the season.[30] As the relationship worsened, Keenan claimed that it was evident that Linden would be traded.[4] After a 5-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues, Keenan openly blamed Linden for the loss, a moment Linden refers to as his "darkest time".[31] Playing in 42 games with the Canucks before the February Olympic break, Linden had seven goals and 21 points.

New York, Montreal and Washington (1998–2001)

Linden was traded to the New York Islanders on February 6, 1998 for Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan McCabe, and the Islanders' third round choice (used to select Jarkko Ruutu) in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. After the conclusion of the Olympics, in which he participated, Linden joined the Islanders and played 25 games with the team. He scored 10 goals and seven assists for 17 points to finish the season, with a combined 17 goals and 21 assists for 38 points in 67 games. The following year, his first full season in three years, Linden was second on the team with 47 points, and third with 18 goals; however, on May 29, 1999, the Islanders traded Linden to the Montreal Canadiens for a first round draft pick in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft (Branislav Mezei), for mostly financial reasons.[32] The thrill of playing in Montreal, the "centre of hockey," was an exciting prospect to Linden after his time spent with the Islanders, where the arena was usually half-filled when he played there.[33]

With Montreal, Linden was often injured, and only appeared in 50 games during his first season with the Canadiens, scoring 30 points, while the next year he appeared in 57 games, scoring 33 points. While with the Canadiens, he signed a four-year contract worth $15 million;[1] however, he was traded for the third time in his career, this time to the Washington Capitals, going with Dainius Zubrus, and New Jersey's 2nd round choice in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft (later traded to Tampa Bay who picked Andreas Holmqvist) in exchange for Richard Zednik, Jan Bulis, and Washington's 1st round choice in the 2001 Draft (Alexander Perezhogin). With Washington, Linden reached the playoffs for the first time in four years, in the 2000–01 season.[34]

Return to Vancouver (2001–2008)

Trevor Linden during a pre-game warm-up in November 2007

After 28 games, over two seasons, with the Capitals, Linden had scored only three goals and four assists. On November 10, 2001, the Capitals traded Linden with a second round draft pick in either 2002 or 2003 (Denis Grot) to the Canucks for their first round pick in 2002 (Boyd Gordon) and a third round pick in 2003. He scored 34 points with Vancouver in 64 games, which included his 1,000th regular season game on March 26, 2002 against the Los Angeles Kings.[35] In his first playoff series with Vancouver in six years, he scored a goal and four assists in six games.

The 2002–03 season was Linden's first full season with the Canucks since 1996–97, though Linden sprained his knee in the season opener and had to miss two weeks.[36] He returned in time to be honoured for his 1,000th career game, which he achieved the season before. As he did not want to distract the team from the playoff race, Linden asked for the ceremony to be delayed.[37] On November 25, 2002, against the Minnesota Wild, Linden scored his 263rd goal with the Canucks, breaking former captain Stan Smyl's team record for most goals.[38] He finished the year with 19 goals and 22 assists for 41 points, his highest goal total in seven seasons, and his highest points total since 1998–99.

"The career he's had, a lot of us watched him when we were younger, and the runs he's had when he first broke in. He's played for so long, and also playing against him, he's a guy that plays hard all the time. He’s a leader. He's a guy that's a good, honest, hard player to play against. He’s not cheap. We have a lot of respect also for what he's done for us off the ice as a group of players. I'm not sure if it's his last for sure, but if it is, it definitely was an honor to play with him."

Jarome Iginla talking about Linden after an April 5, 2008 game, Linden's final game[39]

The following season, Linden broke several more Canucks records. In a February 16, 2004, game against the Colorado Avalanche, he played in his 897th game as a Canuck, passing Smyl.[40] On March 8, once again playing the Avalanche, Linden had two points, including his team-record 674th point with the Canucks, a mark also previously held by Smyl.[1] For the first time in five years, he played in all 82 games, recording 36 points. After a year-long break from hockey during the 2004–05 NHL lockout, in which he actively participated in new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiations, Linden again appeared in all 82 games during the 2005–06 season, scoring seven goals and 16 points. Linden became the first player to play 1,000 games with the Canucks on April 13, 2006 when they faced the San Jose Sharks.[20]

In the 2006–07 season opener, on October 5, 2006, Linden scored the game winner against the Detroit Red Wings to become the first Canuck to score 300 goals with the team.[41] After notching 25 points in 80 games, he helped the Canucks reach the second round of the playoffs. He scored two game-winning goals in the first round, including the series winning goal against the Dallas Stars in game seven of their first-round matchup, which was Linden's sixth game-seven goal of his playoff career.[42] He finished the playoffs with a team-leading seven points in 12 games. This made Linden the Canucks' all-time leader in playoff goals (34), assists (61) and points (95).[43]

Trevor Linden's number 16, along with Stan Smyl's number 12, are the only two retired jersey numbers in Vancouver Canucks history.

After taking the summer to decide if he would return for another season, Linden signed a one-year contract with the Canucks in August 2007.[43] The season was not ideal for Linden, who was a healthy scratch 23 times.[44] In the 59 games he played, he scored seven goals and five assists, by far the lowest totals in his career. Against the Calgary Flames on November 8, 2007, he earned his 412th assist with the Canucks, surpassing Smyl, once again.[45] He finished his career with 415 assists as a Canuck, which stood as the all-time mark until Henrik Sedin surpassed him on March 14, 2010.[46] In Linden's final game, the last game of the regular season, a home game against Calgary, Linden was named the first star, skated a lap around GM Place to a standing ovation and received handshakes from the Calgary players.[44]

"A guy who tried to work hard and do what's right."

Trevor Linden at his retirement press conference on June 11, 2008, when asked what he wanted his legacy to be[47]

On June 11, 2008, after 19 seasons in the NHL, Linden announced his retirement. It was announced on the 20th anniversary of Linden being drafted into the NHL by the Canucks.[7] Shortly after, Vancouver City Council stated that they would honour Linden by declaring the date of his jersey retirement to be Trevor Linden Day in Vancouver.[48]

The Canucks retired Linden's jersey number, 16, from circulation in a pre-game ceremony December 17, 2008 prior to playing the Edmonton Oilers.[49] Linden became the second Canuck to have his jersey retired, joining former captain Stan Smyl, whose jersey number, 12, was retired in 1991.[20] Earlier in the day, the Canucks changed the number of the entrance gate for players and VIPs from Gate 5 to Gate 16 in honour of Linden.[49]

Off the ice


In 1995, Linden married Cristina Giusti,[30] who is the owner of Basquiat, a Vancouver boutique.[50] In 2004 Linden was baptized as a Roman Catholic.[51] Linden's younger brother, Jamie Linden, also played ice hockey. After a lengthy junior career in the Western Hockey League (WHL), Jamie played four games with the Florida Panthers in the 1994–95 season, before finishing his hockey career in the minor leagues. Together with Trevor, Jamie is now a property developer, something they developed an interest in while growing up in Medicine Hat.[9] Trevor has indicated that after his playing career is finished, he would like to become more involved in real estate.[9][52] Linden is also an avid and competitive cyclist, frequenting the local Squamish and Whistler area to mountain bike, in addition to participating in various races.[53] Most significantly, in the summer of 2007, Linden competed in the Trans Alp bike race, a 600 km race across the European Alps. Linden and racing teammate John Ramsden finished 48th out of the 122 competing two-man teams over the eight-day competition.[54]

Linden being interviewed in Vancouver

NHLPA President

As a player representative to the NHL Players Association since 1990,[55] Linden was responsible for being the contact between his teammates and the NHLPA.[3] He saw the experience as a chance to be involved in the business side of the sport.[55] In light of this service, Linden was elected President of the NHLPA in June 1998. Consequentially, Linden was actively involved in negotiations with Gary Bettman and the NHL on a new CBA that ended the 2004–05 lockout.[5] This included a final meeting in January 2005 between Linden and Harley Hotchkiss, the chairman of the NHL Board of Governors, in an attempt to avoid losing the NHL season.[3] Despite this meeting, a result was not found in time to keep the NHL from cancelling the 2004–05 season.

Attachment to Vancouver

If somebody asked me to come up with a mental image of my hockey career, there is absolutely no doubt I would be wearing the uniform of the Vancouver Canucks in it.

Trevor Linden[1]

Linden's long tenure with the Canucks, deep attachment to the city of Vancouver and history of charitable community service and involvement have made him one of the most beloved and respected players among fans in franchise history.[56] His 2001 return to the Canucks was an emotional event for fans and player alike, with Linden admitting that he was too excited to sleep the night before his first game back.[1] He is still often referred to affectionately as 'Captain Canuck', despite not having captained the team since 1997.[57] On April 5, 2008, the Canucks' final game of the 2007–08 season, the Vancouver crowd gave Linden a standing ovation before the start of the third period. Once the game ended, the crowd again rose to their feet in recognition of Linden.[58]

In addition to hockey, Linden has also undertaken a considerable amount of charitable work. Working primarily with children, he has made frequent appearances at the BC Children's Hospital and Canuck Place, a hospice for terminally ill children.[59] In 1995, he inaugurated the Trevor Linden Foundation to raise money for local charities and also hosts an annual golfing event as a fundraiser for BC Children's Hospital.[60] When he was awarded the Order of British Columbia in 2003, the citation referred to him as a "hockey player and humanitarian".[56] Linden has cited his brother, Dean, as being the inspiration for undertaking his charitable work, telling him to use his power as a hockey player.[47]

A testament to his efforts off the ice in Vancouver, Linden has been a recipient of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy (1997) and the NHL Foundation Player Award (2008), honours awarded by the NHL to players for significant contributions in his community.

Linden took part in the 2010 Winter Olympics torch relay when the flame was in Vancouver before the opening ceremony.[61]

International play

Medal record
Competitor for Canada Canada
Men's ice hockey
World Junior Championships
Gold 1988 Soviet Union Ice hockey
World Championships
Silver 1991 Finland Ice hockey
World Cup
Silver 1996 World Cup of Hockey Ice hockey

Throughout his hockey career, Linden has appeared in five international tournaments for Team Canada. He first appeared on the world stage at the 1988 World Junior Championships, a tournament Canada won, where he scored one goal. His first senior international tournament was the 1991 World Championship, in which he contributed one goal and four assists in ten games as Canada won the silver medal. Linden was also invited to training camp for the 1991 Canada Cup roster, but was released early.[62] In the 1996 World Cup, the successor to the Canada Cup, Linden helped Canada to a second place finish with a goal and an assist over eight games.

Two years later, Linden was selected as a member of Team Canada in the 1998 Nagano Olympics.[63] Though he injured his knee only weeks before,[64] he played in all six games, scoring one goal, a game-tying marker with 67 seconds left against the Czech Republic that sent the semi-final game to overtime.[65] Canada finished fourth in the tournament.[66] Later that summer, he participated in the 1998 World Championships. He scored one goal and four assists as Canada finished fifth.[67]

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1985–86 Medicine Hat Tigers AMHL 40 14 22 36 14
1985–86 Medicine Hat Tigers WHL 5 2 0 2 0 6 1 0 1 0
1986–87 Medicine Hat Tigers WHL 72 14 22 36 59 20 5 4 9 17
1987–88 Medicine Hat Tigers WHL 67 46 64 110 76 16 13 12 25 19
1988–89 Vancouver Canucks NHL 80 30 29 59 41 7 3 4 7 8
1989–90 Vancouver Canucks NHL 73 21 30 51 43
1990–91 Vancouver Canucks NHL 80 33 37 70 65 6 0 7 7 2
1991–92 Vancouver Canucks NHL 80 31 44 75 101 13 4 8 12 6
1992–93 Vancouver Canucks NHL 84 33 39 72 64 12 5 8 13 16
1993–94 Vancouver Canucks NHL 84 32 29 61 73 24 12 13 25 18
1994–95 Vancouver Canucks NHL 48 18 22 40 40 11 2 6 8 12
1995–96 Vancouver Canucks NHL 82 33 47 80 42 6 4 4 8 6
1996–97 Vancouver Canucks NHL 49 9 31 40 27
1997–98 Vancouver Canucks NHL 42 7 14 21 49
1997–98 New York Islanders NHL 25 10 7 17 33
1998–99 New York Islanders NHL 82 18 29 47 32
1999–00 Montreal Canadiens NHL 50 13 17 30 34
2000–01 Montreal Canadiens NHL 57 12 21 33 52
2000–01 Washington Capitals NHL 12 3 1 4 8 6 0 4 4 14
2001–02 Washington Capitals NHL 16 1 2 3 6
2001–02 Vancouver Canucks NHL 64 12 22 34 65 6 1 4 5 0
2002–03 Vancouver Canucks NHL 71 19 22 41 30 14 1 2 3 10
2003–04 Vancouver Canucks NHL 82 14 22 36 26 7 0 0 0 6
2005–06 Vancouver Canucks NHL 82 7 9 16 15
2006–07 Vancouver Canucks NHL 80 12 13 25 34 12 2 5 7 6
2007–08 Vancouver Canucks NHL 59 7 5 12 15
NHL totals 1382 375 492 867 895 124 34 65 99 104


Year Team Event   GP G A P PIM
1988 Canada WJC 7 1 0 1 0
1991 Canada WC 10 1 4 5 4
1996 Canada WCp 8 1 1 2 0
1998 Canada Oly 6 1 0 1 10
1998 Canada WC 6 1 4 5 4
Senior int'l totals 30 4 9 13 18

All-Star Games

Year Location   G A P
1991 Chicago 0 0 0
1992 Philadelphia 1 1 2
All-Star totals 1 1 2
  • All stats taken from[68]



Award Year
WHL East Second All-Star team 1988
Memorial Cup Tournament All-Star team 1988


Award Year(s)
NHL All-Rookie Team 1989
King Clancy Memorial Trophy 1997
NHL Foundation Player Award 2008

Vancouver Canucks team awards

Award Year
Molson Cup 1989
Cyclone Taylor Award 1989
Most Exciting Player 1989
Molson Cup 1991
Cyclone Taylor Award 1991
Cyrus H. McLean Trophy 1991
Most Exciting Player 1991
Cyrus H. McLean Trophy 1992
Cyclone Taylor Award 1995
Cyclone Taylor Award 1996


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External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Dan Woodley
Vancouver Canucks first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Jason Herter
Preceded by
Kris King
King Clancy Memorial Trophy
Succeeded by
Kelly Chase
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Stan Smyl
Vancouver Canucks team captain
(with Doug Lidster and Dan Quinn,
Succeeded by
Mark Messier
Preceded by
Bryan McCabe
New York Islanders team captain
Succeeded by
Kenny Jonsson
Preceded by
Mike Gartner
NHLPA President
Succeeded by

Simple English

Born April 11, 1970 (1970-04-11) (age 40),
Medicine Hat, AB, CAN
6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
220 lb (100 kg; 15 st 10 lb)
Position Centre/right wing
Shoots Right
Pro clubs Vancouver Canucks
Washington Capitals
Montreal Canadiens
New York Islanders
Ntl. team  Canada
NHL Draft 2nd overall, 1988
Vancouver Canucks
Playing career 1988 – 2008

Trevor Linden, OBC (born April 11, 1970, in Medicine Hat, Alberta) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player. He played centre and right wing with four different teams: the Vancouver Canucks (two different times), New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, and Washington Capitals. Before he joined the NHL in 1988, Linden helped the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League (WHL) win the Memorial Cup, the trophy for junior hockey teams in Canada, twice in a row. Linden also played for Canada at the 1998 Winter Olympics.

From 1990 until 1997 Linden was the captain of the Canucks. He helped the team reach the Stanley Cup Finals in 1994.

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