Wednesday, April 1st3.0°C

The new Captain Canuck

Update 9:30 a.m.

Former Vancouver Canucks captain Trevor Linden has been named the team's president of hockey operations.

The announcement comes a day after the Canucks fired president and general manager Mike Gillis.

Linden played 19 seasons in the NHL, mostly with the Canucks.

He was named team captain at age 21 and led the team to the 1994 Stanley Cup final, where Vancouver lost in seven games to the New York Rangers.

The 43-year-old Linden scored 375 goals and added 492 assists in 1,382 career NHL games.

Gillis was fired after the Canucks failed to make the playoffs for the first time in six years.

The Canucks, who are holding a news conference later today, are still seeking a new general manager.

Vancouver Canucks fans won't have to wait very long to figure out the direction of the team.

Just a day after firing President and General Manager Mike Gillis, the team is expected to hand over the presidency to fan favourite Trevor Linden.

Sports business commentator Tom Mayenknecht said the timing of Gillis’ departure is no coincidence, but has less to do with Monday’s game and everything to do with the season ticket renewal deadline today.

“Some kind of message had to come from the franchise to get a lot of season ticket holders over the hump,” Mayenknecht said. “The business of NHL hockey is built around the business of selling season tickets.”

Since the announcement, rumours have circulated about Gillis’ replacement, with much speculation pointing to Linden, but now the rumours are a lot closer to fact.

Number 16 is arguably the most popular Canuck in the franchise’s history, and has played coy in the past when asked about a potential return to hockey.

Mayenknecht said the next president has to inspire hope and confidence, something Linden could potentially deliver in spades.

“In the case of Trevor Linden, Markus Naslund, it does remind people of those great days, especially the 1994 Stanley Cup run,” he said.

“On all these rumours, all I can say is where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

Owner Francesco Aquilini has scheduled a press conference for this morning and it will be carried live on our website.


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