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Vancouver Canucks

So Long Trevor … Hello Mats

What a week for the Vancouver Canucks and their fans. On Wednesday night, December 16th, the team culminated 16 consecutive days of honouring Trevor Linden by retiring the number 16 that he had worn on his back for 14 seasons. The same day the Vancouver Sun published a 32 page magazine insert that was dedicated in its entirety to Trevor Linden’s life, his hockey career and his accomplishments in the community.

The very next day, as if to signify a new beginning, the team announced the signing of Mats Sundin to a contract for the balance of the season. Hockey fans everywhere are aware of the long soap opera that played out over the last six months concerning Sundin’s future in the NHL. The fact that he signed with the Canucks surprised most hockey experts and even the Old Timer who has no expertise whatsoever. It is obvious that the Penaltykill.net admin writer is happy to see the Sundin saga over, but did I detect some concern on admin’s part that the Canucks may now be more of a threat to the Sharks.

Getting back to the retirement of Trevor Linden’s number, and the over-the-top adoration he received this week, readers should know that this is only the second number retired by the Canucks since their entry into the NHL in 1970. Linden was the team leader and Captain when the Canucks made a run for the Stanley Cup in 1994. That was a bitter sweet time that saw the team lose the final in seven games against the Rangers. If you want to know more about Linden, check out the 16 days of Trevor on the Canuck website.

Mats Sundin is expected to join the Canucks just after Christmas, so Sharks fans will have to wait to see him when the Canucks make their second, and final, trip of the regular season to San Jose on January 20th. Vancouver fans are anxious to see Mats play and while they are hopeful that his presence will help, they are not predicting a run to the Cup just yet. Sundin has had personal success in all of his 17 seasons in the NHL, but he still does not have a ring. The one thing that pretty well all hockey fans will agree on is that he should make the Canucks a stronger team. Since Vancouver is currently in the top six teams in the NHL this season, who knows what might be possible. A Canuck-Shark Conference final would be a happy result for fans of both teams.

The Old Timer
December 20, 2008

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