Seeing Trevor Linden play in Long Island, Montreal, and Washington was like seeing Bobby Orr in Chicago, or Dickie Moore in Toronto, or Jacques Plante in Boston. It just didn’t seem right. Because for whatever reason, Linden was born to be a Canuck.
Of course he didn’t last long in these foreign cities, only from 1998 to 2001, and in the end, he was brought back to Vancouver where he was meant to be, where he is a bonafide hero, and where he probably never has to pay for a meal in a restaurant for the rest of his life.
Last night his number 16 was retired, and of course it’s rightfully so. Linden was more than just a solid player. He’s one of those chosen few who is a man of the people, a decent and regular guy who happened to have a talent, and one who wants to spend much of his time in hospitals hanging out with sick kids. He’s a giver, a guy with a heart, a nice guy, and is popular with his teammates.
Pretty well the exact opposite of Sean Avery.
When I lived in Calgary my son played on a peewee team, and there was a really nice couple whose two boys played on the same team. My wife and I became friends with this couple, and the woman, Edy, happened to be Trevor Linden’s aunt, his mother’s sister. She said she used to babysit Trevor back in Medicine Hat.
A couple of years later, Edy, still a young woman, died of cancer and it was one of those things we just couldn’t believe. She was too nice, too good a person. And there were more people at her funeral than I’d ever seen before.. The church and parking lot were overflowing, and I saw that she was loved by hundreds and hundreds of friends.
So the kindness Trevor has, the popularity, the love of many, runs in the family.
Linden is certainly the most beloved Canuck of all time. If his sweater never got raised in Vancouver, then no sweater should ever be raised there.
The Vancouver Canucks finally have a real hero, one for the ages.
No one is more fitting than Trevor Linden.