On the night when the spotlight was on him, Trevor Linden turned the spotlight back on everyone else. On the night we thanked him for leading many Canucks teams and being a mentor to many Canucks players, he asked us to think of all his great teammates and great coaches. On the night we thanked him for everything he’s ever done for the Canucks, the city of Vancouver, the province of British Columbia and the game of hockey, he came back and thanked us instead for allowing him to be a part of our lives.
In other words, on Trevor Linden night, Trevor Linden was simply Trevor Linden. He was gracious as friend after friend after 18,630 friends inside GM Place and millions more around BC showered him with accolades. Even in the spotlight, he was honored and humbled.
As if we needed more proof that Trevor deserved to have his jersey retired to the rafters, last night’s ceremony provided more. In his final farewell, everything we loved about him – the man, his character, his leadership – was made more prominent.
There were a few times I felt tears well up. The first was when veterans of the ’94 Stanley Cup run walked on the ice. That that many former teammates from one team showed up shows how much Trevor meant during that run.
The second time was when Pam Keith from the Canucks for Kids Fund recalled the story of the kid from Prince George that started refusing treatments for his cancer at 9 before an also then-injured Trevor met him and told him not to give up. He came back the next day, started taking his treatments again and lived to be 16. Trevor flew up to Prince George for the funeral.
The third time was when they finally raised Trevor’s #16 to the rafters. For Trevor, this was obviously the culmination of 20 years of being the consummate pro and being everything we wanted a Vancouver Canuck to be.
There may never be another Canuck to wear #16 – and that’s just the way it should be – but I do hope though that there will be more Trevors to come out of this organization.
From canucks.com, here are some videos from last night’s ceremony. (I’ll update this post as more become available.)
The tribute video they played before the start of the ceremony:
Trevor’s presser after the ceremony: