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Trevor Linden tabbed new president of hockey operations for Canucks

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Trevor Linden played 16 seasons in Vancouver. (Getty Images)
Trevor Linden played 16 seasons in Vancouver. (Getty Images)

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That didn't take long. The Vancouver Canucks have hired Trevor Linden to be their new President of Hockey Operations.

The former Canucks star was named to the position on Wednesday, only a day after former President and GM Mike Gillis was fired after six seasons.

"It's my honor to officially welcome Trevor Linden home in his new role as President of Hockey Operations for the Canucks," Canucks chairman Francesco Aquilini said. "We believe in Trevor's leadership abilities. His 20 years of NHL experience including seven as team captain, his role as NHLPA President, community leader and businessman offers a very special skill set; one that will positively shape the direction of this club in the future."

Linden doesn't come with any front-office experience but as Aquilini noted, he has plenty of NHL experience and some on the off-ice side with his role in the NHLPA. He has ventured successfully into the business world since his retirement from hockey.

The task is tall and the pressure will surely be immense, but Linden is excited about getting involved with the Canucks again.

"Today is a real honour. I came to Vancouver 26 years ago and I have never left," Linden said. "I love this city. It is my home and the Canucks have always been part of my family.

"I'm passionate about the Canucks and I want to win -- just like our fans. I believe in this team and share the organization's commitment to excellence on and off of the ice. I am looking forward to getting started -- getting to know everyone in the organization, and working together to win the Stanley Cup for this great city and Province."

Everything that goes on hockey related in the organization will be under Linden's direction from the player development to the coaching staffs and, of course, the general manager. That will be one of the first things that Linden will have to figure out, who will replace that part of Gillis' job. He'll also have to make a quick evaluation on coach John Tortorella.

Speculation started to swirl on Tuesday that Linden would be the next president of the Canucks prior to Gillis' dismissal but he denied having spoken to the Canucks about it, though he did admit he would be interested. There was also speculation that Linden would be named the new GM and former Hockey Canada boss Bob Nicholson would be the president. Obviously the latter is not happening now.

The Canucks have been eliminated from the postseason, ensuring their first season without the playoffs since 2007-08. That's going to make for one interesting and pressure-packed offseason.

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