Vancouver Canucks: In Praise of Trevor Linden

Leo WongContributor IMarch 30, 2008

Let's take a look at Captain Trevor Linden.  Yes, Captain... he's forever our captain.  Look at the numbers, they don't lie.  Captain Linden played 82 games in 03-04 and 05-06 seasons.  He played 80 games last season.  In 03-04 seasons, he scored 14 goals 22 assist, with a total of 36 points.  In 05-06, he scored 7 goals, 9 assist with a total of 16 points.  Last season, he scored 12 goals, 13 assists with a total of 25 points.  However, the number doesn't end there.  In the play offs, he played 12 games with 2 goals, 5 assist, 7 points.  He was the best offensive players in the Canucks lineup in that two rounds of play off we had.

This year he has played 56 games so far, playing in the 4th line role logging average only 8-15 minutes of ice time per game but scored 7 goals and 4 assist even with poor line mates and lack of ice time.  Not to mention, he's Canucks best shoot out man.  In fact, his number in terms of shoot out looks great.  He has a total of 5 goals in 8 attempt.  That brings him at 62.5% and ranked 5th in shoot out in the NHL.  With tonight's 6-2 win scoring the game winner and the insurance goal, I'm sure he still has plenty of gas in the tank.

This year, how many Canucks game were decided by shootout?  The team is designed to win by a goal or in over time or shoot out.  Just by looking at the numbers, Captain Linden is actually one of the most valuable offensive players.

There is more.  Captain Linden is the second of the best face off man in the Canucks line up, second only to Ryan Kesler.  We all know how important face offs are especially in defensive zone when protecting a one goal lead or a tie, which happened to be his department.  We also know poor the Canucks perform in face off this year without Bryan Smolinski.

It is time to cover the most important quality Captain Linden has: Leadership.  He had been the captain of the team from 90 to 97.  He was the youngest serving captain in 90 and was the second youngest captain in the entire NHL history.  He was also the Captain of Washington Capitals in 97-98.  He also served as president of NHLPA from 1998-2006 and helped bringing an end to the lock out.

Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault said, "It's obviously important to have a player of Trevor's stature in the locker room, especially because of the leadership contribution he brings to the team. Trevor sets an example for our younger players and the experience he brings to high-stakes game is immeasurable to this team."

The Captain had also received numerous of awards on the ice.  He played in the WHL east second all star team and won the Memorial cup in 88.  He had played in the NHL all rookie team in 89 and received King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 97.  He was award the Molson Cup; 89 and 91, was the 4 times winner of the Cyclone Taylor Award, and twice received the title of most exciting players as a Canuck.

 Outside of hockey, Captain Linden is the spokesperson for Canadian Cancer Society, the Cancer Society Lottery of Hope, and Canuck Place hospice for children.  He also founded a program for underprivileged children called Trevor's Captain's Crew.  In 2003, Captain Linden was awarded the Order of BC.

Without a doubt, he is the Canuck with the most monumental impact to the game, the team, and the society.  In other words, Captain Linden is in reality the true face of the Canucks Organization.  Step aside Luongo.