A month after Vancouver Canucks legend Trevor Linden unexpectedly stepped down as team president, Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province revealed more details about the split.
The hockey world was shocked when the Vancouver Canucks announced that Trevor Linden was stepping down as team president after four years on the job, and more insight has been offered as to what led to the split.
Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province appeared on TSN 1040 and brought up the well-known tension between Linden and owner Francesco Aquillini. On top of that, it sounds like Linden thought of himself as more than team president, but also the general manager.
Here’s what Willes had to say:
"“I think Trevor envisioned a scenario where he was the president, but really he was the GM. He was the one who made the final calls on trades and personnel moves and Jim was more the director of scouting/player personnel guy.”"
Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet reported earlier in the week that Linden felt “angry and betrayed” by general manager Jim Benning when he had left. Benning denied any rift with Linden, claiming they “always had a really good relationship,” and that they “were always on the same page.”
Though Benning and Linden wouldn’t publicly say anything bad about the other, it definitely sounds like the two weren’t seeing eye-to-eye. Though Linden carried the role of president, it always seemed evident that he was acting as the general manager, at least from time-to-time.
Remember, Linden told Sportsnet in 2016 that he wouldn’t rebuild, because it was unfair to the Sedin twins. Sure enough, the Canucks refused to actually rebuild last until last year, and opted to try and ice a retooling team that would be good enough to compete for the playoffs. Surely, it sounded like Linden was always behind the decision to stay competitive, despite the obvious that this team needed to rebuild.
Either way, Linden decided it was best for him to step away from the Canucks. Aquilini took to Twitter after Linden’s departure and vowed to try and bring a Stanley Cup to Vancouver, while giving a voice of confidence to Benning and the rebuilding direction.
We may never get the full details from ownership, Benning or Linden. But the signs are clearly there that Linden wasn’t seeing eye-to-eye with his superiors, and it may have been the best for all parties anyway.
The Canucks have a promising young core that consists of Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser, Olli Juolevi, Elias Pettersson, Jonathan Dahlen, Thatcher Demko and Quinn Hughes. Linden may not be sticking around to watch these guys turn into stars, but if they lead the Canucks to the Stanley Cup at some point, he will have deserved some credit for helping Benning piece it together.
Don’t let the bitter departure from Vancouver take away all of the contributions he’s made for this team.