Saturday, December 11, 2010

Trevor Linden Lithograph Giveaway in Honour of Markus Naslund


This post and subsequent contest (!!!) is a collaborative effort between us at PITB and the
J.J. Guerrero/Chris Golden supertandem of Canucks Hockey Blog.


J.J. Guerrero, Canucks Hockey Blog:
Even as Markus Naslund's career in a Vancouver Canucks uniform was winding down--a career that saw him revitalize a moribund franchise, rewrite numerous franchise scoring records, become the longest-serving captain in Canucks history, and spend countless hours in the community--many fans questioned whether or not his jersey #19 was deserving to be raised to the rafters, whether or not it deserved to hang alongside #12 and #16.

The fact is, many fans have come to compare Naslund's accomplishments with Trevor Linden's and Stan Smyl's. And that's certainly their prerogative. Naslund was an elite level player (an All-Star, Lester Pearson Trophy winner and Hart Trophy nominee), but he was unable to take the Canucks as far into the playoffs as Linden and Smyl. Linden and Smyl played with as much as grit as skill. Fair or not, Naslund was known more for his skill and finesse than anything else.

Because of these differences, however, it's perhaps more appropriate to compare how they connected with Canucks fans. We can debate and dispute stats and playoff runs all we want, but there's one thing that we may all be able to agree on: Naslund connected with Canucks fans who grew up watching the team in the post-Messier era as much as Linden and Smyl did in their respective eras.


Chris Golden, Canucks Hockey Blog:
Having grown up in Vancouver, I've been a diehard fan of the Canucks since Chris' birthday plus one. But there's something about kids from Alberta that I remember the most. I've cheered for an average guy from Glendon, Alberta who went by the name "Steamer." I also hollered "HAR-OLLLLLLD" in the hope that the best 'stache this side of the Rockies (hailing from Edmonton) would lay out to block a slapper. But my first true connection was to a young kid from Medicine Hat.

Harold & Stan were already well into their own careers and I liked them because those were the players my Dad thought were the best. Yet, it wasn't until 1988 when this 18 year old kid named Trevor first donned a Canucks jersey that I truly became excited about the team. He was skilled, yet understood the importance of a blue collar work ethic (as Jim Robson once said "He will play! you know he'll play! He will play on crutches!"). He was exciting to watch and wore his emotions on his sleeve.

But it wasn't just how he performed on the ice that had me enamoured (I'm a confident guy, I can admit that). He may have been from Alberta, but he found his home here on the West Coast of British Columbia. He was the first face of Canucks Place, the player I remember seeing down in the caverns of the Pacific Coliseum talking to the fans, and the player who you'd walk into the most while around town. Some of the darkest days as a Canucks fan were when "he who shall not be named" traded Trevor away and some of the brightest days were after he came back.

And if there were ever an indication that the team got it right when they raised number 16 to the rafters, it'd have to be this: he was always the player that my friends and I ever dreamed we wanted to be when we picked up a stick. And I bet he's still the player younger fans still want to be.


Harrison Mooney, Pass it to Bulis
I watched the Trevor Linden jersey retirement ceremony with some emotional distance, as I never quite understood what he was to Vancouver. It's understandable. In 1994, I was nine; I didn't understand what my testicles did, either. Linden's contributions were a bit beyond my comprehension. By the time I was old enough to understand those contributions--the ones that crafted Linden as the greatest Canuck--Markus Naslund was the guy making them. He was the face of the Canucks; the top draw; the best hope; the spiritual and emotional leader. Yes, Markus Naslund was the greatest Canuck I ever personally witnessed.

And it doesn't matter that he never won a cup; Trevor Linden never won one either. That's not the only basis for greatness. Instead, these guys built their legends on great hockey matched by great work in the community. It's a model for greatness that started with Trevor Linden; Markus Naslund took it and ran with it, and that's where I recognized it. We're all hearing the stories now, about how Naslund passed it to Daniel and Henrik Sedin, and the Canucks are just now reaping the benefits of their great leap forward into a similar role. In that respect, it's important to recognize who Markus Naslund was: the guy that took Trevor Linden's example and turned it into a tradition.

Let me put this in a way that you boomers might understand: Markus Naslund is the Trevor Linden of my generation.


*****

Giveaway time!

PITB is partnering with Canucks Hockey Blog to give away a total of four (4) Trevor Linden lithograph prints. They look like this, (minus the frame):



We are giving away two (2) lithograph prints here on PITB. (CHB is giving away another two prints on their site. One winner will be drawn from Twitter; another winner will be drawn from the comments section.

1) To enter on Twitter, send the following tweet:

RT/follow or enter a comment to win a Trevor Linden lithograph from @passittobulis and @canuckshockey. http://bit.ly/i3yHid #Canucks


2) To enter in the comments section, write which one of Naslund, Linden and Smyl you connected with the most and why.


We'll draw the winners on Tuesday, December 14th, at 7:00 PM, so get your entries in before then.

14 comments:

  1. I grew up with Linden.. He is my Captain Canuck and always will be .

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  2. I definitely connected more with Linden. Smyl was really before my time, and Naslund was the guy I cheered for in Highschool, but Linden was the guy who I latched onto in those magical, formative years of childhood.

    I was crushed when he was traded in the darkness of the Keenan years. I was elated when he was eventually traded back (I can even remember what I was doing when I heard the news). The magic of Linden was that even though he was getting older, and a bit slower, he more than made up for it with his work ethic and wisdom.

    He was also probably the single biggest shootout threat that the Canucks had. He was Captain Clutch throughout his career, scoring some of the Canucks' most timely goals. He left everything he had on the ice. Who wouldn't want to emulate that?

    I stood in line for hours to get a Linden autograph, but didn't get it. All I got was a glimpse of him, but that was enough to make it all worth it.

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  3. Sameer - samsonite049@yahoo.comDecember 11, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    Linden all the way. I grew up during the '94 cup run and those are the best memories as a Canuck fan. Naslund doesn't do it for me because his last couple of years here were not very good yet hes was getting paid like a #1 guy, got #1 minutes on the top line but did not meet expectations. It's hard for me to remember the glory years when the most recent years were not successful.

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  4. Harrison, another fine example of how our generation's heroes weren't good enough compared to the boomer's heroes. That generation is so selfish and selfcentered sometimes. Not to take away Linden's moments - undoubtedly a Canucks hero, but there was a dark period after 94 the nucks could not have escaped from, if not for Naslund.
    Naslund and his team raised the nucks from the muck. He is one of the main reasons we dare to dream about a stanely cup as a real possibility and not a child-like, far away hope.

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  5. Aaron Bergen - aaron.bergen@hotmail.comDecember 11, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    Without a doubt in my mind that would be Trevor Linden. When I was 5 years old, in 1988, the Canucks used to do their summer training in my hometown of Duncan, B.C. They had a scrimmage game where the public was invited and after that game I met a very young Trevor Linden who was nice enough to talk to a young kid and even give me an autograph. I have been an avid Canucks fan ever since.
    Trevor was my favourite player growing up and even though he wasn't Gretzky of Messier etc. he brought something far better to the game. Grit, determination and never giving up. As epitomized in the '94 Stanley Cup run where he actually played with broken ribs, but still continued producing points.
    What he brought off the ice was even greater. Through his charity, the Trevor Linden Foundation, he has contributed more than $650,000 to the Canadian Cancer Society and spent a lot of time at the Zajac Ranch, Canuck place, Bc Children's Hospital, Ronal McDonald house and many more. Because of his off-ice work this is now an expected standard of all the players within the Canucks Organization. As quoted recently by Manny Malhotra who said it "was expected of (him) to get involved in the community"
    That's why Linden deserves to be Captain Canuck and the greatest player in the canucks organization.

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  6. Definitely Trevor. I think I was eight years old when he was a rookie - I grew up watching him, and nothing can replace the way a kid in Canada looks up to his hockey heroes. Linden may not have been as talented as Naslund and he may not have been quite the heart & soul, balls to the wall player Smyl was through his whole career, but I watched him lead the team through the playoffs when I was 12. Back then, an NHL player was larger than life. By the time Naslund was taking over, I was moving on from high school, and started seeing life a little differently. Today, I've got a few years on half the guys on the team. I want them to win, but their not legendary, mythical heroes like they once were anymore.

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  7. I connect most with Trevor Linden, a name I heard as I was growing up in Vancouver!

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  8. "The fact is, many fans have come to compare Naslund's accomplishments with Trevor Linden's and Stan Smyl's. And that's certainly their prerogative. Naslund ... was unable to take the Canucks as far into the playoffs as Linden and Smyl."

    Whenever people play this card, they forget that the 1981-82 Canucks would easily have missed the playoffs in a 30-team league, and the 1993-94 Canucks would have been doubtful. It's a lot harder even to make it to the show today, to say nothing of the randomness created by salary cap parity.

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  9. "Whenever people play this card, they forget that the 1981-82 Canucks would easily have missed the playoffs in a 30-team league, and the 1993-94 Canucks would have been doubtful. It's a lot harder even to make it to the show today, to say nothing of the randomness created by salary cap parity."

    That's specious reasoning. It's fair to say that the Canucks placed where they did in those years, but how can you accurately judge if they would've placed differently if you added x, y, or z teams? There's nothing to say that even if we added a dozen new teams to the NHL for those years, that each one of them would've been worse than the Canucks, not better. This is why we're not dealing with what ifs and could've beens, we're honouring these players for what they actually accomplished.

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  10. Linden = a great man. He is the one that most people connected with I am sure, he had something about him where either you wanted to be related to him, or be best friends. He was sincere and led with integrity. I met him one time and have never forgotten, it was more personal than any other time I had met a player, even Naslund (great too). so my opinion is Linden. People still love him.

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  11. I have to say that I personally relate more to Naslund. Though quiet, he was responsible, accountable and very community-minded. Very classy, and traits I've always tried to emulate. I loved his skill, and the Westcoast Express years were so exciting (especially after years previous)!

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  12. Naslund is the face I see when I think about the Canucks. This is for many reasons. For one, during the 94 run and the rest of his stay here, I was a Bure kid. That is to say as a six year old when you see a fast guy scoring goals, it's an easy choice over a Linden type player.

    And then with the departure of both those 2, and the mini-era of messier, I quickly shifted my focus to the Grizzlies (of all teams.)

    Then it wasn't until the emergence of Naslund that I began to care again. To see a player who can dominate like that, playing for your team, it's really a treat. This is also the first chance I truly had to appreciate a winning hometown team.

    Everytime he stepped out onto the ice I just waited for something to happen. And that's what got me hooked onto the Canucks.

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  13. I was a few days shy of my 5th birthday during the '94 cup run. My mom told me that Trevor Linden was her favourite Canuck, and at 4 I was a tad too young to form my own opinion, so I agreed based upon the instinct that Mother Knows Best.
    Turns out she did know best. When I got back into hockey in the '01-'02 season, I was old enough to form my own opinions on hockey players and their merits. However, that was the year Trev came back. It was too easy for me to compare the hard working dedication of Captain Canuck to Nazzy's point totals and pizazz. I adore both of them as players. Linden just has that special place in my heart.

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  14. Congrats to Erik, who was the randomly selected entrant from this comments section. Send us a mailing address, Erik, and we'll get the lithograph to you on the quick.

    ReplyDelete

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