Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Trevor Ready To Return

Anytime now, Trevor Linden is expected to re-sign with the Vancouver Canucks. And after a tough season last season that followed a the year-long lockout, Trevor is ready for redemption:

Retirement was not an option.

"Never crossed my mind," he said. "Last year was probably the most disappointing year I've had in professional hockey for a number of reasons, but it never crossed my mind, no."

"I look forward to coming back. I feel I can make a difference and that's the only reason I'm here. We've made a lot of changes and we have a lot of work ahead of us, but that's exciting."

Linden was loathe to blame his duties as president of the NHL Players Association for his sour 2005-06 season.

Linden was a principal figure in the year-long lockout and, once it was settled, still faced some heavy criticism from a dissident union faction. It seemed to wear on him and affect his performance.

Linden finally stepped away as association president last month after eight years in office.

"I think I'm in a much better place mentally than I was last year," he admitted. "But I'm not going to use that as an excuse. There were times in the season where I felt I played well."

"There is no question, though, that from a mental standpoint, I'm in a much better state and probably physically much better as well."
Unfortunately, that won't score him negotiating points with Dave Nonis. Given the Canucks' salary cap structure and the mentorship role he is now expected to play, Trevor will most likely re-sign somewhere around the league minimum to $800K-ish this season. And that's fine with him:

"We had a great meeting last week and talked about a few different ideas and we'll continue to work on that this week," said Linden. "It's really not a contentious issue and we're pretty much on the same page. It's a matter of tweaking a few things."
What exactly does that mean?

The Canucks signed Taylor Pyatt, 25, to a one-way contract at $700,000 and he's considered a third-line winger. Where Linden slots in financially as a projected fourth-liner will be interesting. Does Linden warrant more than Pyatt if he takes on a leadership role with 14 players gone from last season's roster? Or does he get less as a fourth-liner?

"We have to make sure it's a good fit," said Nonis, who added that he expects to have Linden signed by end of the month. "Trevor has great leadership abilities and I think he can continue to help in that regard."
Personally, as long as Trevor stays in a Canucks jersey, it's a good fit.


Here's what you thought - the results of last week's poll question:

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 10:01 PM


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