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Canucks to retire Naslund's number

NHL.com @NHL
Markus Naslund never got a proper send off from the Vancouver Canucks and their fans.

They're making up for it in a big way.

One of the major announcements to come out of Wednesday's Summer Summit at Rogers Arena was that as part of Markus Naslund Night on December 11, the Canucks will retire Naslund's jersey.

Naslund will become the third Canucks player with his number retired following previous Canucks captains Stan Smyl and Trevor Linden.

The December 11th game versus the Tampa Bay Lightning will mark Naslund's first return to the arena he called home for 12 seasons, eight as captain, and he's anticipating the night will be one to remember as the Canucks and their fans pay tribute to one of the greatest players and people to ever wear a Canucks sweater.

"It's going to be special and neat to have a chance to come back to the arena and I'm sure there will be a lot of memories going through my head and that I'll be nervous too, but I'm really looking forward to it," Naslund told Canucks.com from his home in Sweden.

"It's definitely a great honour and I'm very humbled and thankful to Mike Gillis and the Aquilini family and the whole organization. It's been a privilege spending such a large part of my and our family's lives in Vancouver and having a chance to play for the Canucks for such a long time, it's a special place for us and it always will be."

When Naslund suited up to face the Calgary Flames on April 5, 2008, his future with the Canucks was in limbo, but certainly not over. It ended when he signed with the New York Rangers in the off-season, meaning the final game of the 2007-08 season was his last with the franchise he adored. There was no salute to Naslund as Trevor Linden had confirmed his retirement and that night was also his final outing with the Canucks. Fans gave Linden the rousing standing ovation he deserved and Naslund faded into the background.

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