My Vancouver – Then & Now Series
As one of the most desirable cities in the world in which to live, Vancouver has played a pivotal role in the destinies of many athletes, performers and creative minds. Whether as a stepping stone at the beginning of their long careers (Academy Award –winner Jim Erickson); a safe harbour for immigrants to start again (Prima Ballerina, Chan Hon Goh ) or reaching the pinnacle of their life’s work here ( NHL’s ‘Captain Canuck’, Trevor Linden, ) the celebrated personalities of this new Inside Vancouver Series by Laura Goldstein, all have one thing in common: MY VANCOUVER THEN & NOW is immeasurably in their hearts.
“I remember that last game very clearly,” reminisces Captain Canuck,
Trevor Linden of his final NHL game, April 5th 2008 against the Calgary Flames when #16 stepped on the ice for the last time in GM Place (now Roger’s Arena) Vancouver .
“ It was really special because nothing had been previously announced officially that I was retiring that day, but the fans started to chant as soon as I came out and gave me a standing ovation. Then I did a victory lap after the game- it was so exciting.”
Vancouver City Council said that they would honour Linden by declaring the date of his jersey retirement to be ‘ Trevor Linden Day’ in Vancouver and Canuck’s management changed the Gate 5 entrance for players and VIP’s to Gate 16.
Playing centre and right-wing for four teams (two separate stints with the Vancouver Canucks), Linden’s legendary 20-year hockey career is a litany of awards & accolades including leading the Canucks to back to back Smythe Division titles; elected President of the National Hockey League’s Players’ Association for eight years; and a member of the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and 1998 Olympic Team in Nagano, Japan. He was awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 1997 for leadership and humanitarian contributions on and off the ice; 2008 NHL Player of the Year and the Order of Canada in 2010.
Linden’s commitment to charitable causes off the ice through BC Children’s Hospital and his own Trevor Linden Foundation focusing on at risk kids, has greatly contributed to the Vancouver community.
“The thing I love about the West Coast is that people are crazy about the outdoors, enthuses Linden, “and almost every sport imaginable is either within the city with incredible bike paths downtown or just a couple of hours away.” A huge fitness buff himself , he opened Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness gyms in 5 locations including bike rentals in downtown Vancouver.
An avid skier, hiker and member of a guys -only cycling group, “ We do the GranFondo cycling event from Vancouver to Whistler every year,” says Linden. “It’s pretty grueling.”
“Trevor and I love to cycle to Lion’s Gate Bridge or along the seawall,” says his wife, Vancouver-born Cristina Linden who grew up in Burnaby. She’s the co-owner of Basquiat, a hip women’s clothing boutique in Yaletown. “We also like to eat out a lot and go to Lolita’s for great Mexican food near English Bay, L’Abattoir in Gastown and Hawksworth in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia.”