“Today is an emotional and exciting day for me as an athlete and a person. It closes one chapter of my life, my playing career, while opening up another which I am very much looking forward to. The game of hockey has been good to me and I would like to thank my family, former teammates, coaches, managers, support staff and the incredible fans that have been so generous in their support of my career.”
I've only been a hockey fan for six years, but I completely fell in love with Linden (as well as Todd Bertuzzi) the first time I watched a Canuck game on TV. He was a good leader for the younger Canucks. I love that he stepped up when Markus Naslund, a good captain as he is, wasn't being captain-y. I think it was in Round 1 of the 2006-2007 playoffs, when the Canucks were battling Dallas Stars. His pregame speech before the March 15th game against Dallas Stars led to the team beating the Stars in a big way. He's pretty hot, too.
His retirement is expected, but I'm still kinda sad.
I don't have the time and the energy to list all his accomplishments, on and off the ice, but y'all can see all of them in the official press release in the Vancouver Canucks official website.
There is also a feature article on the website on the 16 most memorable moments in Linden's career. (Of course, I love the number - it's the Numbers, man. *Wink wink*) This is my favourite moment, although I didn't see it for myself:
It is one of the all time great hockey photos and it captured everything about Trevor Linden and the effort required to play for the Stanley Cup. It’s the famous picture of an exhausted Linden, eyes closed and grimacing, with blood on his jersey and his arm around Kirk McLean at the end of Game 6 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Final. Linden appears to be leaning on his netminder as if he can barely stand up after the pounding he’s taken throughout the playoffs. It’s impossible to see that photo and not hear the words of the legendary Jim Robson: “He will play. You know he’ll play. He’ll play on crutches. He will play and he will play at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.” Boy, did he ever.
I've seen this picture so many times, I feel like I was there!
Anyway, Linden will review his career in a one-hour special on June 23, 2008, at 9 PM on Sportsnet Pacific. I am totally watching this with at least one box of Kleenex.
Thanks, Trevor, for everything! Love yah!