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Theories on straw that broke Trevor Linden's presidency back


Slegr

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Over five months have past now since the shocking news that the Vancouver Canucks 'amicably' agreed to part ways with Trevor Linden. Lots of speculation has been made about his relationship with Francesco Aquilini and the reasons that resulted in his departure.

 

I've been a fan of Linden since I began watching the Canucks in 1991. In the past five months, I've wondered if it was any one particular thing that would have made Linden decide that he's had enough, or just the culmination of little things and differences of opinion and direction over the four years he was President.

 

I'd be interested to hear what you think may have been a final straw that broke the back of his role as Canucks President, if one indeed exists.

 

I'll tell you my theory, but just a disclaimer that there is no evidence to back it up.

 

What keeps coming back to me is Linden's previous role as NHLPA president. I remember seeing a much different Linden than what I was used to when he served in that role, particularly in 2004-05, the year of the NHL lock-out, when Linden was up against team owners, trying to negotiate the rights of his fellow players. Then I remember how Sam Gagner was handled this year, and I wonder if those plans to demote Gagner were proposed (by Benning) as early as the summer (perhaps conditional on how he performed in camp), to see if it was even an option with Aquilini. Even though most people tend to think Linden was pro-youth movement, I could see how in this type of scenario, Linden might go to bat to defend an unbeknownst veteran player who, possibly in Linden's mind, had paid his dues.

 

What do you think? Could factors surrounding Sam Gagner's fate been what caused Linden to leave? Or something else entirely?

 

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I doubt Sam Gagner had anything to do with it.

 

He's already an entrepreneur and you could tell along with his business ventures that this job was driving him into the ground. Non-stop travel, a terrible team on ice, maybe he's was only around for the pre-rebuild. I'm pretty sure it was multiple factors. But I think the main reason would be to stay close to family and to simply keep to his own business. Being president of anything is a lot of work.

 

Or maybe he just plans to outright retire from work soon.

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7 hours ago, Baer. said:

I doubt Sam Gagner had anything to do with it.

 

He's already an entrepreneur and you could tell along with his business ventures that this job was driving him into the ground. Non-stop travel, a terrible team on ice, maybe he's was only around for the pre-rebuild. I'm pretty sure it was multiple factors. But I think the main reason would be to stay close to family and to simply keep to his own business. Being president of anything is a lot of work.

 

Or maybe he just plans to outright retire from work soon.

If that were true, there would have been a press conference, an announcement, etc. It wouldn't have been a sudden move.

I think Aquaman and JB were on one page and Linden was on another. It got to the point of frustration for Linden and Linden suddenly pulled the plug. Or maybe Aquaman fired Linden for insubordination? I hear that Aquaman was pulling strings behind Lindens back aswell. 

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Please - unless there are new, actual sources - ie something from the horse's mouths, I don't see the point.  

This is a redundancy and beaten horse - which has already spawned it's share of threads.

 

I think the Gagner mistreatment story is an absurdity / would be shocked if that had anything to do with this rift.  Gagner does not belong on and has not earned a spot on this roster, period.

 

My baseless opinion / pure speculation - would be that Lindenning revealed their plan to stay away from free agent big fish entirely - and focus on depth/shutdown/foundational veteran supporting cast to enhance the opportunities and conditions for the relatively unproven young, top 6 of skilled forwards.  That plan did not necessarily spell shorter-term 'success' in terms of a good bet on a playoff appearance, but what it did spell was good conditions for the young players to thrive and produce early in their NHL careers - and imo it's proving to be a well-founded approach.

 

My guess - given the generally dense and obtuse responses in the media to what this team was doing - was that ownership may not have been entirely sold.  The resounding "wtf is Benning doing?" responses - "err, why is he signing 4th line plugzz?"  = whiffed on the point and the sound hockey mindedness of that approach.

 

Linden was promised full hockey jurisdiction - and ran interference to protect the trajectory the team is on.  That would be my reading without sources of what makes the most sense to me.   The assumption that this was a rift between Linden and Benning does not compute imo.  The only angle of that story that makes sense is the elevation of Benning to having jurisdiction over hockey decisions - that alone imo would/could be enough to make him walk - and again, that would be a reneg between Linden and Aquilini, not Linden and Benning.

 

Is that in line with the popular speculation?  No it is not.  But I could not care less, as I don't buy the line that Linden left over the Beagle, Roussel, Schaller signings - as if those players would unfairly push young players off the roster.   That story, imo is a projection of media assumptions.   As we've seen - those hard matchup minutes are no easy task for young players - and in the absence of those foundational veterans, the youth at the top of the lineup simply do not thrive nearly as well.  I doubt Linden would be of that mindset and enough so to leave a franchise over a difference of opininon over signing support veterans.  I find that story borderline absurd - almost as absurd as the Gagner 'mistreatment' angle.  I think it's more fundamental/substantial that than - and the two scenarios I'm speculating make more sense imo.  Until there are valid and actually primary sources, there's nothing imo to suggest these are less, or even as poorly qualified, as the more popular spins.

 

 

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I remember a late-spring quote where TL said something to the effect of, "Looking to the future, even if it means taking on some redundant contract(weaponizing space), etc..."

 

Might have really irked owners, if they felt he was using the public platform(coupled with his popular image), to promote his young asset, development approach(possibly considered unnecessary expense)?

 

Sometimes such incidents might have compounded past philosophical differences. At the end of the day, it's their biz(albeit, there's likely some tasty, gossipy nuggets, which big power/public positions will keep locked in Pandora's box). In this era of ADHD level understanding, & gossip perpetually, anonymously leaked, it's likely too much for the avg rubber-necker to look away/move on...

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I have a different theory-

I feel like it all boils down to the handling of Quinn Hughes. Trev was pushing to have Hughes sign and play this year (youth movement on display), JB wanted him to return to college for development and went behind Trev's back and expressed his feelings to Aqua.

Aqua agreed with JB and they encouraged Quinn to return to school.

 

Trev and Aqua have a meeting shortly after the announcement that Hughes is going back to school.

Trev quits, feeling betrayed and back stabbed by JB.

 

Only supporting evidence I have for this scenario is that weird tweet or report that came out shortly after he left, quoting Linden as feeling "betrayed" while he laid low in Kelowna.

 

 

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I feel like people want this to be a Shakespearean drama somehow.  A tragic hero ( but what was his Hamartia ? !)  A struggle between good (Linden obv.) and Evil ( the rapacious Italian Prince Aquilini).  Now we just need some comic relief (Blake Price ? )  and some supernatural elements (Ghost of Pat Quinn or maybe Fin can talk ) and we're set !

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cut out the middle man...Linden had no problem with it because he is a busy guy with a family...JB is now making decisions along with Aquaman...simply a business decision with the support of everyone...unless Linden had a problem with it...lol

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It didn't happen overnight and it did have to do with Linden's ethics (right word?). He had too much empathy for the players over the fans or the team. I ….the Sedin finale was already planned and leaked. Linden admitted that he (and management) would never ask the Sedins to waive their clauses many times, the Sedins always commented that they had never been asked to. Linden often commented on players "earned" the clause. Benning was re-signed in February just before the TDL and then Burrows and Hansen moved, Linden was not around. Linden spent to the cap on old retirement type contracts and trades were almost nil during his tenure.

 

Linden's outside interests benefited hugely, Club 16 expanded all over the place and advertising was constant.

Linden's contract was also close to ending, he couldn't sign Benning to a longer contract than he had himself.

Linden spent to the cap every year and the franchise lost 150 million in value.

Linden was hired to improve PR and act in the owner's stead, no need for him now.

And

Linden just did a bad job of running the franchise, lost money, over spent, lost value, lose more games, the only area that became bigger were the loss/profit ratios.

 

It is now, no big deal, the four years are gone and can never be got back. Linden or anyone else would have been canned earlier if not for his contract conditions.

  

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I personally believe linden and benning both started out with a slow and deliberate, "shelter the youth" mindset, and sold ownership on that approach, including the need to fill holes with stop-gap veterans. over the years, I think they ended up diverging, with benning adapting more to the present nhl and the need to get the young players into the lineup sooner, while linden wanted to stay the course.

 

based on this theory, I believe linden was the driving force behind the gagner/del zotto/vanek signings and benning likely wasn't firmly onboard at the time (as evidenced by the ruthlessness with which gagner and del zotto have been buried in the organization since linden's departure, something you don't see happen to a lot of veteran players by the same management that signed them), and the final straw, of sorts, may have been philosophical differences surrounding the best place for quinn hughes to spend 2018-19, with linden likely being of the opinion he should be in the ncaa, while benning and francesco thought he should turn pro. 

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On 1/1/2019 at 12:52 AM, Slegr said:

Over five months have past now since the shocking news that the Vancouver Canucks 'amicably' agreed to part ways with Trevor Linden. Lots of speculation has been made about his relationship with Francesco Aquilini and the reasons that resulted in his departure.

 

I've been a fan of Linden since I began watching the Canucks in 1991. In the past five months, I've wondered if it was any one particular thing that would have made Linden decide that he's had enough, or just the culmination of little things and differences of opinion and direction over the four years he was President.

 

I'd be interested to hear what you think may have been a final straw that broke the back of his role as Canucks President, if one indeed exists.

 

I'll tell you my theory, but just a disclaimer that there is no evidence to back it up.

 

What keeps coming back to me is Linden's previous role as NHLPA president. I remember seeing a much different Linden than what I was used to when he served in that role, particularly in 2004-05, the year of the NHL lock-out, when Linden was up against team owners, trying to negotiate the rights of his fellow players. Then I remember how Sam Gagner was handled this year, and I wonder if those plans to demote Gagner were proposed (by Benning) as early as the summer (perhaps conditional on how he performed in camp), to see if it was even an option with Aquilini. Even though most people tend to think Linden was pro-youth movement, I could see how in this type of scenario, Linden might go to bat to defend an unbeknownst veteran player who, possibly in Linden's mind, had paid his dues.

 

What do you think? Could factors surrounding Sam Gagner's fate been what caused Linden to leave? Or something else entirely?

 

If you are right then linden wasn't doing  his job. His job in the nhlpa was to work for the players.  That wasn't his job as prez of the Canucks. 

I don't know what the big deal is with linden leaving.  While he was a real warrior for us in 94 there's not that much other reason to be crazy about him. I'm just not as crzy about linden as alot of others seem to be. 

We will see if there is a big void in the running of the Vancouver Canucks with him gone over time. My guess is no difference. 

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23 hours ago, oldnews said:

Please - unless there are new, actual sources - ie something from the horse's mouths, I don't see the point.  

This is a redundancy and beaten horse - which has already spawned it's share of threads.

 

I think the Gagner mistreatment story is an absurdity / would be shocked if that had anything to do with this rift.  Gagner does not belong on and has not earned a spot on this roster, period.

 

My baseless opinion / pure speculation - would be that Lindenning revealed their plan to stay away from free agent big fish entirely - and focus on depth/shutdown/foundational veteran supporting cast to enhance the opportunities and conditions for the relatively unproven young, top 6 of skilled forwards.  That plan did not necessarily spell shorter-term 'success' in terms of a good bet on a playoff appearance, but what it did spell was good conditions for the young players to thrive and produce early in their NHL careers - and imo it's proving to be a well-founded approach.

 

My guess - given the generally dense and obtuse responses in the media to what this team was doing - was that ownership may not have been entirely sold.  The resounding "wtf is Benning doing?" responses - "err, why is he signing 4th line plugzz?"  = whiffed on the point and the sound hockey mindedness of that approach.

 

Linden was promised full hockey jurisdiction - and ran interference to protect the trajectory the team is on.  That would be my reading without sources of what makes the most sense to me.   The assumption that this was a rift between Linden and Benning does not compute imo.  The only angle of that story that makes sense is the elevation of Benning to having jurisdiction over hockey decisions - that alone imo would/could be enough to make him walk - and again, that would be a reneg between Linden and Aquilini, not Linden and Benning.

 

Is that in line with the popular speculation?  No it is not.  But I could not care less, as I don't buy the line that Linden left over the Beagle, Roussel, Schaller signings - as if those players would unfairly push young players off the roster.   That story, imo is a projection of media assumptions.   As we've seen - those hard matchup minutes are no easy task for young players - and in the absence of those foundational veterans, the youth at the top of the lineup simply do not thrive nearly as well.  I doubt Linden would be of that mindset and enough so to leave a franchise over a difference of opininon over signing support veterans.  I find that story borderline absurd - almost as absurd as the Gagner 'mistreatment' angle.  I think it's more fundamental/substantial that than - and the two scenarios I'm speculating make more sense imo.  Until there are valid and actually primary sources, there's nothing imo to suggest these are less, or even as poorly qualified, as the more popular spins.

 

 

Huh :unsure:

 

First it's a discussion board for people to voice their opinion, second you say there's no point, but then write a huge opinion on the matter... 

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