Report: Trevor Linden Considering Resigning?

The Canucks are in need of a major resurgence, and that will start this weekend as they play Dallas on Sunday. Earlier this week, Trevor Linden spoke with TSN 1040 and, not surprisingly, admitted that nobody in the organization is happy. The discussion of firing Willie Desjardins has only gained traction as each game passes, and his leash appears to be shorter and shorter as the struggles continue. The general consensus among fans is that there needs to be some sort of movement within the organization, whether it be through trades, waiver claims, or hockey personnel changes.

Tonight on Hockey Night in Canada, Elliotte Friedman reported something that came out of left field…

Elliotte Friedman: “There’s been rumblings about [Trevor Linden stepping down]. It’s been a hard time for the Vancouver Canucks. I did ask him today, I said ‘Is any of this true?’ and he said ‘Look, I came into this job with my eyes wide open, I knew there was a chance we were going to go through a difficult time. I accept that, I get the criticism and the scrutiny,’ but he says he is not going anywhere, he is staying in his current role.”

That’s it. There was no discussion about the topic before Ron MacLean asked the question, and there was no round-table after it was answered. 

As far as I, and the rest of us at Canucks Army know, there were no such reports of Linden possibly resigning as President of Hockey Operations – at least none that were made public. In this Vancouver hockey market, fans are kept up-to-date with basically every rumbling within the organization. Even smaller moves, such as a player being sent down to Utica, is usually reported before being made official. 

It’s quite odd that Friedman’s report would suddenly catch us off-guard, especially given the magnitude and impact that it has on the organization. Theories have already started to generate, questioning the validity of the report, as well as if there are any underlying messages trying to be conveyed. Digging through Twitter, I was able to find no such discussions of this rumour. Nonetheless, Friedman’s report is bound to kickstart the talks of Trevor Linden stepping down.

Source: Hockey Night in Canada

  • Burnabybob

    Rebuilds are painful. There’s no way around it. Linden and Benning need at least two more years.

    They should probably look at trades, though. I would consider moving Virtanen, who is kind of looking like a bust. Try to get something for him while they can. If he continues to struggle in Vancouver, the situation could deteriorate between him and the fans, especially as he is outperformed by Nylander, Ehlers and Richie.

    • Nuckleston

      Have Trevor and Jim started the rebuild, or are they just turning the roster over? I have every confidence that Benning can steer an excellent rebuild; however, the moves he has made so far scream of retooling rather than rebuilding.

      As far as retooling goes, I’m not sure he is the man for the job, as I don’t believe his strength is in negotiation. Maybe all he needs is to bring on an excellent sales person, and the ship will right itself. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and the worst thing you can do is not acknowledge them and get help when you need it.

      As for trading Virtanen, I’m not sure I would do that. I’m pretty sure you would be selling low, and I’m nervous it would bite us in the butt.

      If everything the media says about Jake lacking focus is true, imagine how good he will be when he matures. Just thinking of the poop I was doing at his age makes me think he should be cut some slack, as he really isn’t doing too bad.

      • Bud Poile

        Markstrom/Demko

        Stetcher-Gudbranson

        Sbisa-Tryamkin

        Hutton-Juolevi

        Brisebois-Neill

        Granlund -Baertschi-Sutter-Boeser

        When Benning/Linden trade a Shinkaruk or McCann there then comes all the negativity from fans that have next to no ideas about their physical conditioning and social attitudes or realistic NHL projections.

        The same applies to Virtanen.

        With the exception of Markstrom/Hutton all these players listed are a direct result of Benning and Linden. This list does not include their draft picks that will surprise us all and become NHL professionals.

        2.5 years on the job and all these players are now the future of the team.

        That’s a significant retool in rapid fashion.

        • Braindead Benning

          The players listed are mainly just prospects st this point so, I will give the new regeime credit for getting some depth, I am sure some will turn out to be NHL players but nothing at this point makes me think they will be just 3rd pairing defencemen and 2, 3 and 4th liners.

          The biggest problem I have with Benning is not the players he trades for it’s the amount given… the trading of draft picks (2nd rounders) and Forsling for example only pigeon holes with other GM him when he makes trades.. rumour around the league is hold out and old jimbo will sweeten the pot when he targets a certain player.

          • Bud Poile

            No,all except Neill are guaranteed NHL players.Demko and Boeser are golden prospects.Brisebois will make it and so should Neill,but to lesser degrees of games played certainty. I could have listed a dozen more Benning prospects but they are all just that-highly prospective.

            A second rounder for both Vey and Baertschi was fair trade.

            A late second and Bonino for Sutter and an early 3rd was a wash.

            You forgot the seconds back he got for Garrison and Bieksa.I guess they are not worth mentioning or giving Benning credit for.

            Fans talk about Forsling as if he is a Norris or Calder candidate.He is neither.Add to that his slight frame(172 lbs.) and height(5’11”) and you see the reasons Benning traded him for a big d-man that had just racked up 118 points in 2.5 AHL seasons.

            Benning has to take calculated risks and he is taking them. He will lose this one as Forsling is a talented rookie but Clendenning was the piece Pittsburgh wanted in the Bonino/Sutter trade so Benning moved him on in part for another asset rather quickly.

            One other much overlooked fact is Benning and his scouts secured Forsling the asset to begin with via a 5th round pick.

            The Benning doubters never bring up his first draft here in 2014. Four of seven picks are NHL players two years later and Demko will make it five. If Pettit nor McKenzie never play an NHL game there should be no doubts in the critics or critical fans eyes what a remarkable feat this already amounts to.

            Since Benning pulled off this miracle as a Canucks GM is absolutely stupendously historic,given the stinking drafting record this franchise has had to witness and suffer through.

          • Ca-nuckle head

            Totally agree. He had to spend some pics to fill that 24-28 void left by the Gillis regime. I feel they need to slow their development path. Got lucky with Horvat, but JV and Stecher should spend time in the AHL. JV needs time to gain confidence and Stech to gain strength. If managed correctly I think both players will be long term contributors to Canuck success.

          • Dirty30

            Ironically, it is the tragic and hopeless drafting by the previous regime that keeps this team alive — including Bo — while Benning’s picks haven’t exactly lit up the league with a winning record.

            JB gets a second for Garrison and throws that away on Vey and takes the cap room and wastes it on Vrbata.

            Gets a second for KB and spends it on Baer, who is supposed to be the next great scoring machine but is stuck in neutral again.

            Don’t let facts get in the way of your fantasies — it’s why porn and religion are the two biggest industries — but Benning has not pulled off any miracles.

            Benning had an idea, made a plan and figured it should turn this team around fast. One fluke season at 101 points and he ignored the real problem that even Torts could see. And now JB has no assets to trade, few draft picks, few prospects and a bunch of Mad Hatter fans planning parades.

          • Hockey Warrior

            “And now JB has no assets to trade, few draft picks, few prospects and a bunch of Mad Hatter fans planning parades.”

            Hahaha excellent overview and spot on. I would take the Gillis/Burke/AV regimes and their successes over Trader Jim/WD any day of the week. As LA and Chicago have proven, you CANNOT build through the draft when you are a winning team, as the ‘nucks were consistently under their watch,

            Take no notice of DELUDED WINDOW LICKERS like Bud P guys… this is the same (no life fifty posts a day) lunatic who tells us “the defence is EXCELLING!” and that Stanley Cup WINNER and Conn Smyth shortlister Nick Bonino is a WASH over Brandon ‘no show’ Sutter. L-O-L

            Anyway, down to business. Trevor Linden was hired as a figure head to appease the rabid fans and to build bridges with the GUTTER press, but has alas been LOST AT SEA since his mentor and friend Pat Quinn passed away (Linden called him daily). I actually believe Trevor should stay on and grow some Quinn sized cojones by FIRING both Wille D AND Jim Benning (or demote him to scout). After all, the REAL architect of the BOSTON BRUINS we were SUPPOSED to be emulating is pulling up trees in DEADMONTON – and YOU all know it and SEE IT in the standings… don’t you?

          • Fred-65

            Bonino and Sbisa PLUS a first round pick has now ended up as Bonino for Sutter and the 1st round pick McCann for Gudbranson so really for Kesler, Vcr ended up with Sutter, Sbisa and Gudbranson which IMO is pretty good trade. Forsling was traded for Clendenning (6’/190) Frankly Pierre McGuire thinks within a year or two Forsling will be running the Chicago PP. That was a God awful trade. Virtanen at some point will need to admit that was not the best pick. So some good some not so much. Linden IMO will look for the first glimmer of light before he steps aside. and Tryamkin looks like a keeper, Demko has the chance to be special and Boeser might represent the first genuine scorer Vcr has picked since Billy Delargo. So some you win some you loose

          • Bud Poile

            Once again,that’s because Benning has had 3 drafts to build upon.

            You,Dirty 30 and Hockey Warrior should all get together for the weekend and brainstorm to come up with the names of the couple of draft picks that made it to the NHL from 6 drafts of the Gillis regime.

            Fittingly,the list is as short as your memories and attention spans.

        • Nuckleston

          I’m not arguing that Jim is not good at drafting; in fact,I think he is pretty darn good at it. If Jim focused on collecting and using picks,I think we would end up with a pretty good team in 3-5 years. My concern is his based around his trading of the draft picks.

          The first problem I have is trading draft picks to get players that are in the 23-25 year old range. By the time players reach that age they are nearing their peak. If we trade for middling 24 year olds, they will need to show massive improvement within 2 or so years, or what you see is what you get. If you add in the fact that it takes a few years to retool, unless you hit home runs, you can end up with a average team really quickly. And don’t think that Chicago, Florida, and other teams don’t know what they have in their 23-25 year old players.

          My second issue with Jim’s trading is he never seems to “win” a trade (I know winning is in the eye of the beholder). The NHL GMs are a collection of elite sharks, and unless you are better than average you will die by 1000 cuts.

          Trading unknown potential for relatively known assets while trying to out fox the rest of the league is a huge task, and it is one I don’t think Jim is up to; in fact, I don’t know if many GMs could do it.

  • Bud Poile

    Highly doubtful that Linden is going anywhere.

    One 101 point season and one injury-plagued season is hardly any reason to resign.

    Any franchise that sheds an aging, successful core has to rebuild and it takes more than a couple of seasons to get highly competitive again.

    Attempting to remain competitive while rebuilding is necessary in this market where one year of missing the playoffs becomes apocalyptic.

    Give the man his due and back off,Friedman.

  • Braindead Benning

    If the rumour is true I wouldn’t blame TL… not a fan of him as a president or old JB as GM as stated however, I think the biggest issue is the ownership which is quite sad for us as the fans..

  • Braindead Benning

    If the rumour is true I wouldn’t blame TL… not a fan of him as a president or old JB as GM as stated however, I think the biggest issue is the ownership which is quite sad for us as the fans..

  • Braindead Benning

    If the rumour is true I wouldn’t blame TL… not a fan of him as a president or old JB as GM as stated however, I think the biggest issue is the ownership which is quite sad for us as the fans..

  • The_Blueline

    I think this club needs stability, so I hope TL, JB and WD stay. I wish thou they would commit to a full rebuild.

    – play a fast offence focused system.
    – play JV with twins

    – give Stech, Tryamkin and Hutton as much ToI as possible

    – use Bo/Bear in sheltered situations

    – trade Vets at TDL for picks

    – keep Sedins if they want but make them understand they won’t win a SC here the next 2-3 years

  • EddyC

    There is no guarantee with a 1st round pick, never mind a second. It seems like people think a second is guaranteed to be an NHL player. When Benning trades away a second round pick to get a bonafide NHL player it is a very good trade. We need to give Benning a chance, remember it has been over 10 years for the the Oilers and 15 years for the Leafs and neither team is out of the woods yet. By the way Jared McCann has 2 points in 15 games, Hunter 0 points for 3

  • Frogger84

    When a journalist refers to “rumblings” , that refers to the growl in his stomach after having Mexican for dinner. In other words, he is trying to pull a story out of his ass.

    If there’s no source there’s no story.

  • Vanoxy

    It wouldn’t shock me if he did step down.

    He’s a smart guy and he is obviously aware that the team is going to go through a couple of tough years while they rebuild, but he has pressure from the top to make the playoffs. It’s a frustrating position I’m sure.

    I think the rebuild while staying competitive plan is possible but it’s a tall order for a rookie exec like Linden, and a first time GM like Benning.

  • Marvin101

    Considering the incompetence displayed at the trading deadline and a few of the ludicrous contracts handed out I think Linden and/or Benning should be replaced before firing Willy.

    The team has no direction and is clearly in the same category of performance that the Oilers were in for several years. Time to admit that a rebuild is necessary and hire a GM capable of dumping veterans with high contracts just Lou did in Toronto last year.

  • Jimjamg

    If this is true, it is the surest sign that ownership has been meddling in hockey operations to the detriment of the team. Linden wouldn’t want his reputation tarnished by hockey decisions that he isn’t even making. This rumour is probably a shot across the Aquilinus bow.

  • OMAR49

    Any time a club goes through a losing streak like the Canucks have there are rumors the coach, GM or President (or all of them) will step down or be fired. At best, most of this is idle speculation started by the media who need something to write about.

    Unfortunately when you go through a rebuild there is a lot of pain.Everyone has a different opinion (many times uninformed) on how that rebuid should be done. You can nit pick all you want about certain trades, draft picks, etc. but the team has, for the first time in years, some decent prospects in the junior and college ranks and well as some good young developing players in the pro ranks. Will we be a Stanley Cup contender in 2-3 years? Probably not, but we should be a better team than we are now and that is what is important.

  • Donald's Hat Trick

    Now’s not the time to free Willy. His judgement is highly questionable, starting with his choice to sign with Vancouver and not Pittsburgh. But he’s just following orders — who’s the starting goalie? Benning knows the answer, because he’s giving Willy direction every other day. And as someone else pointed out, a GM only gets to fire one coach.

    Yet the fans are in revolt before the 20 game mark, and ownership is getting antsy with the empty seat count and undoubted drop in merch and concession sales. That leaves Benning and Linden. Benning at least has been accomplishing things. You can argue about the success of his moves, but not with the fact that it will take time to definitely know if they will pan out.

    So that leaves Linden… what does he do anyway? The team has a major PR problem, in that what they say isn’t what they do. Even most of the players were unable to follow along last year. Linden is the ideal scapegoat, but someone else will have to step in and fill that public role when he gets axed. It’s more likely the axe falls when the team is clearly out of the playoff hunt, or the empty seats reach a target number.

  • LTFan

    Well I’m not an Elliotte Friedman fan so whatever he says I take with “more than a grain of salt” so to speak. There is something about him I don’t like and I don’t trust him.

    I’m surprised that Vanessa would contribute to this very “far out” rumour.

    Time to get back to watching the team sort out some of their mistakes and get back to winning at least half of their games going forward.

  • jaw3350

    I believe the major issues of the Gillis regime were his mishandling of the his goaltenders,Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo, and his hiring of coach John Tortorella. His drafting record was not that bad.