It’s been over a calendar month since former Vancouver Canucks president Trevor Linden unceremoniously left his position with the organization and only now are Canucks fans are beginning to learn the details of the franchise icon’s split with the team.
Earlier this month, Canucks insider Ed Willes of The Province newspaper, reported some of the details of Linden’s departure and pulled the curtain back on Linden’s dealings with owner Francesco Aquilini.
“The way the categorized the divorce was being ‘amicable’, but everyone I talk to says that amicable is that last thing that it was,” said Willes to TSN 1040 radio hosts Jeff Paterson and Don Taylor.“
“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.”
There are plenty of conflicting reports out there, but most Canucks fans seem to believe that narrative that Linden favored a slow, measured organization rebuild, while owner Acquilini, supported by general manager Jim Benning, favored a “retool” or quick fix solution. Interestingly enough, the Canucks surfaced in rumors for Erik Karlsson just last week. And according to Willes’ latest report, the Canucks were interested in superstar free agent John Tavares before he elected to sign with his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs on the opening day of NHL free agency. Even more interesting, the team’s pursuit of Tavares could have been the nail in the coffin for Linden.
Check it out:
Linden, the recently deposed president, lost his job because he favoured a patient, methodical approach to the team’s rebuild. He’s since told friends the Aquilinis wanted no part of that plan and when Benning presented a more aggressive approach, which included an offer sheet for John Tavares, Linden was dumped.
Tavares… Karlsson… remember when Benning was fined for making comments about acquiring P.K. Subban and Steven Stamkos back in 2016? Something’s fishy in Vancouver and it’s not just the smoked salmon…
Whoever’s to blame, one thing is clear: the Canucks front office is in absolute shambles. No one is quite clear on who does what or what the plan is. Are the Canucks rebuilding? Because the offseason additions of Jay Beagle, Antoine Roussel and Tim Schaller certainly don’t fit with that narrative.
Are the Canucks pushing for a playoff spot? Because the team’s roster certainly doesn’t look any better than the team who finished in the basement of the NHL standings last season…
Source: Ed Willes
Photo Credit: Zuma Press