Friday, 5 September 2008

Canucks to Retire Linden's #16

by Jes

Trevor Linden, the quintessential Vancouver Canuck, will have his #16 retired into the rafters of GM Place.

No surprise there.

The Vancouver Canucks made official Thursday what many have suspected since the final moments of last season: they're going to retire Trevor Linden's No. 16 jersey.

The big event will take place Dec. 17 at GM Place.

"It's going to be exciting," Linden said Thursday at a press conference to formally announce Trevor Linden Night. "I'm going to be a bit nervous but sharing that with our fans, my friends, my family and my teammates, or ex-teammates, will be very special."
I just hope this game goes better for the Canucks than Linden's final game in the NHL, when the Flames trounced the Canucks 23-1 and the Canucks simply rolled over and played dead.

In terms of # retirements, the Canucks are rather stingy on sweaters hanging from the rafters. After 38 years, Stan Smyl is currently the only retired number on the Canucks (#12), and there don't seem to be any great candidates in the near future. Compare that to the Buffalo Sabres, the Canucks' expansion brothers, who have SIX numbers retired.

The only other possible candidate in the near future, given that past Canucks such as Tomas Gradin or Pavel Bure aren't even considered, would be Markus Naslund. Nazzy is the all-time leading Canucks goal and point scorer, and played almost as many games in a Canucks uniform than Smyl.

The problem? Naslund's acrimonious departure. Naslund clearly sulked during his last two seasons with the club, and never really touched Canucks fans the same as Trev or Stanley Steamer.

I would think that Mattias Ohlund will be a candidate some day, given his longevity and service to the club. Other than him, the clothesline is pretty bare.

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