At a surprise outdoor ceremony earlier today, the Vancouver Canucks unveiled the newly named Gate 16 at General Motors Place in honor of Trevor Linden. Gate 16 is the main entrance and reception area for guests, staff and key stakeholders in the community of Canucks Sports & Entertainment.
Trevor Linden embodies the same qualities Canucks Sports & Entertainment strives to uphold: integrity, teamwork, passion, respect and excellence. Gate 16 was named in tribute to the iconic Canuck, to serve as a lasting reminder of his distinguished NHL career and reflect the objectives the franchise supports and operates by.
“The unveiling of Gate 16 provides an opportunity for everyone who enters General Motors Place to see the impact of Trevor’s legacy,” said Chris Zimmerman, President & CEO, Canucks Sports & Entertainment. “Gate 16 was named and designated as a symbol of Trevor’s character and a reminder of the principles this organization supports and upholds.”
"It’s an incredible honor, and I was totally caught off guard, it was very special for sure. To have a place at GM Place in perpetuity is incredible. I am somewhat shocked, overwhelmed and a bit speechless," said Linden at a press conference immediately following the surprise presentation. "I can’t begin to say, the honor it is to have not only tonight’s ceremony, for a player its extremely special, it’s one of the most special moments in sports, so that, and now this morning which was a complete surprise, it is really an amazing day."
Linden, his wife Cristina, father Lane, mother Edna and brothers Dean and Jamie all attended the unveiling of Gate 16 alongside Canucks staff, media and partners in the community. The ceremony was hosted by longtime Canucks broadcaster Tom Larscheid and attended by NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner, Bill Daly. Linden’s sweater will be raised to the rafters in a pre-game retirement ceremony at General Motors Place tonight.
Gate 16: Gate 16 is located on the East side of General Motors Place on Abbott Street in Vancouver. It was formerly identified as Gate 5 before being renamed. The re-design of Gate 16 includes blue and white LED lighting of the number 16, accompanied by a plaque that details Linden’s career and legacy. VISIT FROM THE COMMISH
NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman, is in town for tonight's special event and was present in this morning's dedication to Linden. The commish, who worked very close with Linden throughout the collective bargaining agreement (CBA), had some words of admiration and gratitude for number 16.
"We all know of how terrific Trevor was on the ice as a player and we also know that off the ice he conducted himself with elegance and class, and there could be no finer representative, not just to the NHL, but to professional athletes everywhere," said Gary Bettman, who went on to speak about Linden’s self-sacrificing work with the NHLPA. "During those times not only did [he] try to do the right thing, but [he] demonstrated extraordinary leadership and extraordinary courage in representing 700 players at a time. We know without [his] strengths and [his] efforts this league would not be where it is today."
Deputy Commissioner, Bill Daly, accompanied Bettman on the trip; both were available to the media following the morning's ceremony. In a brief press conference, Bettman discussed the strength of the NHL in the face of the perceived economic downturn and shared his optimistic beliefs regarding the future of the league.
"This season we are going to be ok. We recently had a meeting with the board of governors and we went over the projections both at the league level and the projections I get from the clubs. We are going to see real revenue growth and we are likely to set our fourth attendance record in a row," said Bettman. "We think that going through this season we’re not seeing much of what some of the other [professional leagues] are seeing, having said that part of it may be due to the strength of our game and our terrific fans, also part of it may be that our selling cycle is such that we were ahead of the downturn."
Unprompted, the commissioner went on to detail his confidence in the Vancouver organization and the enthusiasm in which daily business is conducted, trickling down from ownership into all facets of the staff.
"I don’t have any concerns about this franchise whatsoever. Ownership is strong, committed, and investments are being made. Mike Gillis has been given by Francesco whatever resources he needs. We have an ownership group that is strong, that have the resources, and that are passionate about the club in Vancouver." DRILLING FOR OIL
With all the hustle and bustle surrounding this special day, it may seem reasonable to forget the Canuks' Northwest showdown with Edmonton. Only four days after being outright dominated in a 3-0 loss to the Oilers, the boys of Vancouver get a chance at redemption.
"We've had some pretty good battles the last couple times. In Edmonton we were on the wrong side of that game and I don't think we played as well as we wanted to, so definitely we would like to get right back at it," said Kevin Bieksa
. "They're coming off a tough loss last night and are going to want to come back with a better effort so it should me for a pretty physical and intense game."
Both Mattias Ohlund and Sami Salo
joined the team for a brief game day skate after missing practice yesterday. It appears that both will suit up for action tonight. Curtis Sanford is expected to get the start in goal.OTHER NEWS:
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