The Canucks officially announced Trevor Linden as the new President of Hockey Operations Wednesday morning, confirming rumours that were swirling since Mike Gillis’s dismissal from the position the day prior.
This means that Linden lied to our faces on Tuesday. In an interview with Global TV to promote his fitness clubs, he was asked point blank if he would be the next president of hockey operations for the Canucks. He denied the rumour.
The Canucks just hired a big, fat liar to be team president.
Linden is, of course, known for things other than deceitfulness here in Vancouver. He is arguably the most beloved sports figure in Vancouver’s history, even more than Cyclone Taylor, who did actually win a Stanley Cup in Vancouver. That’s what makes this move so dangerous for Canucks fans, as Harrison pointed out.
As Harvey Dent put it, “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Linden left the Canucks a hero, with fans fondly remembering the 1994 playoff run. Even the Calgary Flames, thanks to a classy move by Jarome Iginla, stuck around to shake his hand in his final game and congratulate him on his career.
But those memories could be quickly tarnished if he can’t conjure the same success from the front office that he did as a player. Or, considering how many fans felt about Gillis in the end, he’ll have to get better results as Team President than he ever did as Team Captain.
The biggest concern is his lack of experience, which Francesco Aquilini tries to assuage by listing all of his roles that have nothing to do with running a team:
It’s my honor to officially welcome Trevor Linden home in his new role as President of Hockey Operations for the Canucks. We believe 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.
Thankfully, the Canucks didn’t hire Linden for the joint role that Mike Gillis held as both President and General Manager, which is the only reason I’m at all comfortable with this announcement. As long as Linden can make a sound decision on which General Manager to hire, this will be a positive move that will only smack a little of pandering, nothing worse. Linden will be able to grow into the role, particularly if they keep Laurence Gilman around as a sounding board.
If Linden is little more than a figurehead, meant to put a friendly face on the Aquilinis’ decisions, however, then we’ve got a real problem.Tags: Trevor Linden