Char has already talked about saying goodbye to Trevor Linden, but I'll add my two cents' worth. I've watched Trevor since before the 94 playoffs, although I wasn't a huge hockey fan until around that time. In 1994 I was in grade 9 and I remember the glory of watching the team go to the Stanley Cup finals. I remember seeing Trevor's face when he scored the game-winning goal in game 6, and seeing the utter sadness and exhaustion after losing in game 7. And why do I remember? Because Trevor's entire heart was in the Canucks. His emotions rose and fell with each win and loss. You knew that he was a true leader because he inspired his teammates to play better. And his emotions were our emotions. When I think of the Canucks, I think of Trevor.
I remember when that jerk and that other jerk forced Linden to give up his "C" (okay, that might be my version of the story, but whatever), when he was traded, and best of all, when he was traded back to the Canucks. The past two seasons have been tough as a Trevor fan, since it seems obvious that the current coach hates him... even after he was the best player in the playoffs and scored the game-winning goal in the longest game of my life (on my birthday!) But through it all, Trevor has never been a complainer. At least on the outside, he appears to have accepted his change in role without losing his passion for the game, and his devotion to the team. He isn't the most skilled player anymore, and he probably doesn't have the stamina he used to. But he is a true competitor and Canuck for life - and I think, a great example to kids and adults everywhere.
Here's to Trevor Linden, #16. You gave us many great years and a ton of memories. I wish you weren't retiring (and I suppose you haven't actually said you are yet) but I'm glad I got to see you play this season. Please become the head coach soon. The Canucks are in need of serious help.