Back to the Future
Emotionally Canuck fans were delighted by the decision to bring Trevor Linden back into the organization. He is the most popular player in team history and while he was not born in the city, he has become a Vancouver boy. Everyone really wants to see him succeed. If he accomplishes nothing else this summer, Trevor has the fans setting aside the pitchforks.
While the heart is happy, the head is still worried. I do think Linden is smart enough to do the job and his personal relationship with key members of the team is a big advantage. (He will get a very good idea of the state of the dressing room when he does exit interviews with ex-teammates Henrik, Daniel, Burrows, Bieksa and Edler.) On the other hand, he has no experience, he’s six years away from the game, and his tenure as NHLPA President ended about as badly as it could end.
Furthermore, it niggles at the head a bit because Aquilini isn’t dumb and he knew that this move was about the only option he had to get the fans back onside. If Linden hires Jay Feaster because he and Tortorella can get along, I will suspect that the owner is calling the shots behind the Linden brand.
Since Feaster would be awful, the alternatives – Laurence Gilman or one of the other Assistant GM names being bandied about – are also new to the general manager’s chair. The top of the hockey operation will be woefully inexperienced.
I don’t think it was an accident that Linden mentioned calling Pat Quinn at the press conference, and that they both appeared on a local CBC radio feature this morning. The ceremony honoring Quinn on Sunday night has been long in the works, but we’ll see Linden and Quinn featured prominently together again. The fans will love it and they will also love to hear that Quinn has been hired to act in a Scotty Bowman like senior advisor to the president role.
I don’t whether it will happen or whether it will work if it does happen, but it sure feels like it is back to the future for the Vancouver Canucks.