145

Vancouver Canucks and Trevor Linden ‘Amicably’ Part Ways

In something of a mid-summer stunner, the Canucks announced that they’d mutually agreed with now former-team president Trevor Linden to part ways.

There had been rumours going back at least two years that Linden had been considering resigning from his position. The reasons therein vary. Some, like Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy, posited that former-head coach Willie Desjardins’ fate after year two with the Canucks was one such faultline — ownership wanted Desjardin gone, and Linden wasn’t having it. Another is that Linden found the pushback from the media and fans alike distasteful and concerns about his legacy lingered.

The Canucks hired Linden on April 9th, 2014, after a disastrous season that saw the Canucks finish near the bottom of the league. Linden, along with his associates, promised a quick turnaround and fought against the desire from some fans, and even media members, for a wholesale rebuild. Linden wouldn’t even use the ‘r’ word in public until the end of his third season with the team as president.

To Linden’s credit, he and his first, and only, hire as general manager, Jim Benning, delivered in year one. The team bounced back with a vengeance and secured a playoff spot. Since then, the Canucks’ star has plummeted. In the last three seasons, no team owes to a worse record. It’s been tough sledding, to say the least.

Per the Canucks’ press release, Linden is moving on to pursue different endeavours.

Trevor Linden leaves the organization to pursue different endeavors after serving four years as President, Hockey Operations where he oversaw all hockey operations areas, including coaching, scouting, player development, and minor league affiliations and operations. He also served as Alternate Governor, NHL.

There’s perhaps never been a player so universally liked as Linden was for his time with the Canucks, on the ice. A first-round, second-overall pick of the Canucks in 1988, Linden played 1140 games with Vancouver, in two separate stints spanning 1988-1998 and from 2001-2008.

As an executive, though, Linden isn’t quite so revered. And perhaps that’s why he’s stepping down from the role. It was a lot to ask of someone who didn’t have any prior front office experience in the NHL. And it appears that Linden is no longer up to the task.

  • oh yeah

    Trevor made a huge mistake in choosing Jim as the gm. A good gm is critical to an organizations success. Jim has made way too many blunders. No need to recite them just choose your least favorite.

    • Puck Viking

      Agree! Look at the 2nd rounders dealt for crap players then look at the 2nd rounders on the team. How much better would this team look with another 3 or 4 prospects like Lind, Demko or Woo??

      • Bud Poile

        Benning traded two-seconds and recovered one second (Gadjovich).
        Where are the 3 or 4 prospects coming from when only one second rounder was lost overall?
        Add in Sutter and Vey to Gadjovich.
        Crap analysis,not players.

          • Puck Viking

            I would rather have Rasmus Andersson than Sven. And hitting on 1 of 5 is the biggest bit of non sense ive ever seen.

            Is sven even worth a 2nd? He is third line player on a normal team and 1st liner on the worst team in the league. You act as though he is an all star LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

  • Kootenaydude

    Is the team in better shape than when he arrived. I would have to say definitely yes. So I would consider his tenure a success and look forward to our prospects in the near future. He helped turn around a sinking ship.

    • Puck Viking

      Are you joking? Worst team in the NHL over the last 3 years and they havent started to rebuild yet. And are now loaded with toxic contracts that are untradeable, have held on to vets until they are worthless.

      Are you trying to tell me that if they rebuilt 5 years ago properly that they wouldnt have twice the prospects and finally be starting to turn the page??

      Give me a break.

      • DJ_44

        Come on PQW. Haven’t started the rebuild? You rebuild by drafting and developing. They have excellent in drafting for five straight years. It is not completed: you have to continue to draft and develop.

        They have averaged 4 quality prospect per draft. Add in some key undrafted FA signing, and you have a top-3 prospect pool in the league. Top-3. Now is the time to transition the youth into the lineup; while letting those not ready develop in Utica.

        • Puck Viking

          LOL are you serious??

          Please name one trade other than burrows and hansen that showed they were rebuilding??

          Just because the teams sucks and drafts high does not mean they are a rebuilding.. they have been dealing picks for crap for years but good try..

          • DJ_44

            You do not average 4 quality prospects per draft by “drafting high”. You do that by drafting well throughout. Not all picks turn out. But averaging 4 per draft is (based on NHL drafting history) remarkable.

            So, to sum up you position, it is not a rebuild because they did not do it the way you wanted them to do it. The Canucks have assets now that they will be able to trade for futures when the younger players step in. It is reaching the stage where you can keep the pipeline going.

            Burning it down and building again has not been proven to work. Look at the (much touted) Leafs, they had a lot of young prospects that were drafted before the “rebuild” was announced. Kadri, Gardiner, Reilly, Brown, , Andreas Johnsson, were all on the team/in the existing prospect pool prior to the “rebuild”.

            The Leafs had 33 picks in the 4 drafts between 2014-2017. And then they only really “hit” on their high first round picks (Marner #4, Nylander #8, Matthews #1), with others that are probable to be NHL players (Dermott, Lijigren, Gunnerson, Woll).

            The Canucks had 28 picks in the same time frame. Virtanen, Demko, Tryamkin, Boeser, Gaudette, Pettersson. Add in McCann and Forsling since they are Canucks picks. These are NHL players with little doubt.

            Lind, Gandjovich, Rathbone, DiPietro, Palmu or probable, Briesbois, Jasek, and Lockwood definitely have a shot.

            The five extra picks really did not get them farther along development path.

          • DJ_44

            I also acknowledge that there are a few other Leaf prospects that are on longer development paths, so they may have a couple more on the list. I believe the comparison is still valid.

          • DogBreath

            You could argue the Baertschi and Granlund trades for 2nds were about rebuilding too. They had an age gap that they needed to fill and did so with those seconds. We all love the draft but it amazes me how we overvalue picks. Most picks (including second rounders) don’t make the NHL.

          • Puck Viking

            Vanek for Mott are you serious??

            Pouliot was a disaster we gave a way a pick for an ahl player.

            Lack trade was terrible brisbois is not a legit prospect and bieksa for a 2nd was given away.

            KEEP DREAMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Puck Viking

          The fact that you think signing free agents and drafting players means you know nothing at all.. all teams do this. They have had loads of chances to take on bad contracts for assets and havent, have they dealt vets for picks? Nope!!

          They can trying to speed up the rebuild and keep destroying the team

          • DJ_44

            The fact that you think signing free agents and drafting players means you know nothing at all.. all teams do this.

            We both realize an edit button would be useful.

            Here is what I will say: All team draft; on this we agree. However what you fail to grasp is that few team draft really well, and even fewer teams draft really well over a number of years.

            They have had loads of chances to take on bad contracts for assets and havent

            As previously stated, taking on bad contracts on their own are low (if not negative) value propositions when you look at the actual return and the value you provide the competition. Most are addons to deals already in the works, with the receiving team getting poor returns.

            have they dealt vets for picks?

            Dealt them for picks and/or younger prospects:
            Garrison, Bieksa, Kesler, Vanek, Burrow, Hansen, Lack …..

            nope

            You must be at the nexus of the twitter and tsn1040 echo-chambers: run away or your cognitive function will continue its decline!

          • DogBreath

            Puck Viking … you have quite the perspective.

            No one wanted Vanek for the playoffs. no one. He has a reputation for not producing when it counts. He was a good addition for the Canucks regular season offence but a terrible addition to be flipped for picks.

            How many games did pedan play in last year. What league is he in next year. Seems poulliott trade was decent value. Unless you think the 4th(?) rounder is a game changer.

        • Dirk22

          In the time Benning has been in charge Buffalo has drafted Eichel, Dahlin, Middlestadt, Nylander and Reinhardt. Would you say they’ve been well managed during that time?

          Exactly.

          • Bud Poile

            Benning:
            17-18 31 40 11 7th Pacific
            16-17 30 43 9 7th Pacific
            15-16 31 38 13 6th Pacific
            14-15 48 29 05 2nd Pacific
            Total: 140W 150L 38 TIES/ OTL
            318 points out of 328 games

            Buffalo:
            17-18: 25W 45L 12 T/OTL 8th Atlantic
            16-17: 33W 37L 12T/OTL 7th Atlantic
            15-16: 35W 36L 11T/OTL 8th Atlantic
            14-15: 23W 51L 08T/OTL 8th Atlantic
            Total: 116W 169L 43T/OTL
            275 Points out of 328 games

            2018-Buffalo picked 1st
            2018-Vancouver picks 7th
            2017-Buffalo picks 8th
            2017-Vancouver picks 5th
            2016-Buffalo picks 8th
            2016-Vancouver picks 5th
            2015-Buffalo picks 2nd
            2015-Vancouver picks 23rd

            Vancouver drafted:
            Boeser,Hughes,Pettersson,Tryamkin,Juolevi,Woo,Demko,Gaudette,
            Virtanen,Lind,Palmu,Rathbone et al.
            That’s the story ,not the B.S. .

          • DJ_44

            With respect to my comparison it was from 2014-17, so Dahlin is off the list.

            You actually made my point, Dirk: Buffalo drafted high and well in the first round, but got not much in later rounds. They had 31 picks in that timeframe

            Under Benning, the Canucks have hit on their first round selections AND a boat load of NHLers or potential NHLers in the later rounds. The Canucks had 28 picks.

            Again, Buffalo’s four extra picks did not put them further down the development path.

      • DJ_44

        It is a collective effort. Benning re-orgainzed the scouting department and instituted a system for evaluating prospects. He would have worked with Trevor closely, I imagine. Certainly give Brackett top job in amateur department helped.

        • DogBreath

          Canucks results have been mixed in top 5 (we’d have liked more IMMEDIATE value from Virtanen and joulevi; Petersson and Hughes should be excellent value). All other picks have virtually nothing to do with where they finished and are widely seen is a strong prospect pool.

          Have they been perfect? Nope. No one is. Has the restocking exceeded reasonable expectations? Without a doubt.

      • Puck Viking

        result of being a horrible team.. how many more prospects should we now have? 10 more at least if terrible trades werent made handing them..

        Or if vets were dealt for picks and prospects.. see tanev, sutter, hamhuis

        and anyone who says vanek was dealt for a prospect is an idiot.. motte is not a legit prospect a 7th rounder would have been better

        its this idiot spewing this crap about age which means aquillini is trying to speed up a rebuild isntead of building properly through the draft.

        • DJ_44

          Extra draft picks does not necessarily equate to more prospects.

          its this idiot spewing this crap about age which means aquillini is trying to speed up a rebuild isntead of building properly through the draft.

          Good news, Puck. You must be looking at the wrong team’s prospect pool. I can tell you with confidence that the Canucks have and are in fact rebuilding through the draft, and have been since 2014. Their prospect pool is consider in the top-3 of the NHL (imagine Top 3!).

          Adding to their prospect pool, they have made some quality undrafted Free Agent signing.

          Here I thought you were just being stubborn and contrarian. It was probably just an honest mistake.

  • Puck Viking

    No one thought it was a good signing except bad licker canucks fans who cant think for themselves and believe the BS tossed out by the management group and ownership.

    Had they started to rebuild years ago and actually got value for assets which are now worthless this team would be years ahead and might have mathews, mcdavid or dahlin on it.

    Instead here we are 5 years later and the rebuild hasnt even started yet.

    Just horrible management which is now proved to be the fault of a horrible owner. The lack of hamhuis trade, probably why vanek wasnt dealt for picks, all the trading of 2nd rounders for crap players, terrible free agent signings, not moving on from vets who have value(edler, tanev, sutter) are all the fault of this loser aquaman.

    • Defenceman Factory

      Do you realize your biased, Benning hating rants come across every bit as nonsensical as many of Bud’s posts in defence of Benning. You really need to consider that situations could be more complicated to explain than just assuming Benning is a drooling imbecile.

    • KGR

      Why do you even follow the canucks, if they piss you off so much? The sky is not falling as it appears you think? Some good, some bad. Like all the other teams. Just enjoy hockey…good hockey. Hey, would be happy for any canadian team to break the drought.

    • So what exactly is your idea of a rebuild? We have Pettersson, Boeser, Hughes, Demko, Dahlen, Gaudette, Juolevi, DiPietro, Goldobin, Woo, Lind, Gadjovich, Virtanen, Jasek, Palmu, and a bunch of other prospects who look promising like Rathbone, Madden, Lockwood, Utunen, and MacEwen. What other prospect could you add with the 5th to 7th round draft picks you would have got for Richardson and Mattias?

      • Cageyvet

        Anyone who says the rebuild hasn’t started yet is a troll and/or complete idiot. Puck Viking is just one of the name-changing cadre who fit that description and are a constant reminder that intelligent debate needs more than one of the parties to be intelligent.

        • Puck Viking

          Im surprised you can type given that you would have to take your hand off benning c$ck and stop with the hand jobs.

          The rebuild has not started.

          How many bad contracts were taken for assets?

          How many vets were dealt for picks? (Not even vanek a UFA was)

          How many toxic UFA contracts do we now have?

          Just because the team sucks does not mean they are rebuilding and anyone who thinks that is an idiot and you sir take the cake.

      • Fortitude00

        1915 a lot of prospects but aside from Boeser who else is a first liner? Who is a top 2 D man and who is a top tier goalie? It could happen but odds are we will lack in those areas and have bottom 6 forwards and 5/6 d men. Right now they are prospects and its just a lot of dreaming what players could be. Rarely do they ever pan out.

        • Beer Can Boyd

          Petterssen will definitely be a first liner,Hughes and Julolevi (50/50) will be top 2 defensemen, and Demko is widely acknowledged to be the best goalie in the world not currently playing in the NHL. Next comment.

    • speering major

      This is just silly. The Canucks selling assets doesn’t land them Mcdavid, Mathews, or Dahlin. It lands them another Jet Woo or Gadjovich or two. Yes, nice pieces that you want to keep adding but it’s light years away from what you stated. The Canucks have been bottom feeders and fell in the lottery. Shipping out Vets doesn’t land you a lottery victory.

      I have been saying Tanev should have been moved a long time ago and I think this deadline is the time for Sutter to go (Especially if Gaudette still looks promising). Hamhuis was a blunder made by ownership, not Benning. All that said, you still don’t end up with franchise players

  • LTFan

    IMO it has nothing to do with “it appears that Linden is no longer up to the task.” From everything that has been said it certainly appears that Aquilini had simply pushed Linden to one side and had Benning report directly to him. There had to be a meeting about this and the only thing TL could do was leave and he has. Aquilini signs the cheques so he has the final say.

    • Bud Poile

      From every station ,report and tweet covering this subject the friction has always been there.
      The latest ‘line in the sand’ appears to be the speed of the rebuild but the reality is there were many issues over the years.

  • Locust

    Anyone else tired of puck Viking getting his ass handed to him after every comment….. looks like he is going to set the record for number of trashes, sorry Freud.

  • Nuck16

    Really I thin Linden’s work was done. Hired JB, eventually got the team back on track with rebuild. Ownership now has confidence in Benning and want to afford his full freedown to call that shots, and not get messed up in meetings on vision. At that stage Linden just getting in the way

  • Rodeobill

    How’s this for a conspiracy theory…
    What if the owners are actually nice people, and Benning competent. And what if TL wasn’t really savy as a GM, maybe he is loyal but not shrewd or Machiavellian. Maybe he was coaxed into the job out of loyalty even though he didn’t really want it. Or maybe he did at the start, and then got tired of having to be villified by media and fans and being brought to bear all that disappointment. Every choice and decision made people just habitually asking “how did you screw this up more now?” He has gone from royalty to the whipping post. Maybe Linden just wanted to leave? Maybe he just wanted to be a dad for a while?
    I don’t know, but we love to make mountains out of molehills, and paint people and situations in certain lights, but in actuality, the way we lionize/ vilify/ cast as the lazy beer drinker/ or ascribe whatever role to whomever says more about us than it does the actual situation. Maybe TL is a real jerk IRL? Maybe he is a handsome moron? Maybe he is a nice guy? Point is like anyone, he is a complex, multidimensional, and changing person, but to us and the media, he is a caricature based loosely on his public actions and how he has very intentionally represented himself in a certain way, but more so how we infer things from there and write the story about those things. Same for Benning. Same for the owners. This story is a story about how we write the story about this. lol.
    But that’s kinda fun too, i guess. I don’t watch soap operas, so I get my fix here.