Trevor Linden's departure from the Vancouver Canucks was a controversial yet quiet set of circumstances. Most insiders believed there was more than met the eye and details are starting to emerge as to the story behind his exit from the organization.
About a month ago, Linden and the Canucks parted ways. He left his role as President of Hockey Operations and it was believed that somehow, he was ousted by team owner Francesco Aquillini and pushed aside by general manager Jim Benning. Benning said he had no role in the decision to remove Linden as the two had a great relationship, but things didn't seem quite right.
Details are starting to come to light that suggests things weren't exactly wonderful in Vancouver. During a recent interview with TSN 1040 radio in Vancouver, Ed Willes of The Province newspaper revealed some of the details he'd heard when it came to Linden’s dealings with Aquilini. He said,"everyone I talk to says that amicable is that last thing that it was.”
Willes goes on to say that the two sides had very different ideas as to who was responsible for what problems in Vancouver. "I think Trevor envisioned a scenario where he was the president, but really he was the GM," Willes explained. "He was the one who made the final calls on trades and personnel moves and Jim was more the director of scouting/player personnel guy.” If this is true, it speaks to why Aquillini blamed Linden for the lack of team success as the biggest problem in Vancouver appeared to be trades and free agent signings — something that would have fallen under Linden's job description. Benning, in turn, was responsible for drafting and developing prospects.
Where this becomes quite messy is that it appeared Linden believed he should be doing a different job and Benning should have a different role. Now, with Linden gone, Willes suggested no one in Vancouver seems to know what anyone's job description really is. Even worse, no one is certain which direction the team is heading.
Are the Canucks rebuilding? Their recent free agent signings of Jay Beagle, Antoine Roussel, and Tim Schaller certainly don’t suggest as much. But, the team is not nearly good enough to compete. So what exactly are they doing?
If Vancouver really doesn't know what they want to do and Linden did, in fact, leave on his own accord, it's could be clear as to why.