The 'Non-Canuck' Years.
February 6, 1998 was a day that changed my allegiance forever from 'The Canucks' to 'A Man Without A Team'. It was the day Trevor Linden was traded from my beloved Canucks to the New York Islanders.
I will not get into it - but I still hate the Canucks, Mike Keenan and Mark Messier for that one.
Trev was traded for Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan McCabe and the NY Islanders' 3rd round choice (Jarkko Ruutu) in the 1998 Entry Draft. Looking back, it seems as though the Canucks got the better end of that deal, but at the time, Linden was the marquee player in the trade.
1998/99 SPx Finite #50
A cool parallel for a set that never really took off with me. It's horizontal design caught my eye initially, but I found it boring the more I saw singles from the set.
With just 300 copies (a tough find at the time) it was a solid parallel that took a while to knock off my wantlist.
It took just over a year for the Islanders to realize that Linden just wasn't the same player that he was in Vancouver. He was traded back to a Canadian team - the Canadiens in fact and things were looking a little better for him.
Trevor was traded for Montreal's 1st round choice (Branislav Mezei) in the 1999 Entry Draft on May 29, 1999. That would be considered a big loss for the New York Isles. It seems as though they do that a lot.
2000/01 Kraft Be A Player #26
Try finding one of these cards nowadays. It's pretty much impossible. I don't know the full details, but I just remember there being a lot of issues and difficulties with the release of the set. I was lucky to land this single early as it has been nearly a decade since I last came across one.
What I really like about this card is the great action photo. We need more of those on our cards today!
I didn't mind Trev in the 'Bleu, Blanc et Rouge'. I actually got to see a few games he played in...albeit in French (I saw one game on TV the year Trev was a member of the NYI). But again, it just wasn't the same as the 'Nucks.
Now this is a mouthful....so be warned.
On March 13, 2001, Trev was traded to Washington by Montreal with Dainius Zubrus and New Jersey's 2nd round choice (previously acquired, later traded to Tampa Bay Tampa Bay selected Andreas Holmqvist) in the 2001 Entry Draft for Richard Zednik, Jan Bulis and Washington's 1st round choice (Alexander Perezhogin) in the 2001 Entry Draft.
Got that? Neither did I.
All I knew was that Trevor was packing his bags to Washington. Yuck! Remember, this was before the Ovechkin days. Instead, it was the Jagr days. And Jagr was another guy I couldn't stand.
2001/02 Be A Player Signature
An 'on card' signature nowadays is a rarity, but back then it was the only thing. This card would have looked so much better had he been in a Canucks jersey. Thankfully, there would be many more autos to come.
It was so odd seeing Linden in a Caps jersey. The road black was a real oddity. By this point, I thought he had pretty much killed his career and would eventually become 'the guy that gets traded all the time to every team in the league'. I hated that thought.
That all changed on November 10, 2001.
Trev was brought back to the Canucks when he was traded to Vancouver by Washington with NY Islanders' 2nd round choice (previously acquired, Vancouver selected Denis Grot) in the 2002 Entry Draft for Vancouver's 1st round choice (Boyd Gordon) in the 2002 Entry Draft and Vancouver's 3rd round choice (later traded to Edmonton Edmonton selected Zachery Stortini) in the 2003 Entry Draft.
Keenan was gone, Messier was gone and the Canucks were rebuilding a solid team with Naslund, Bertuzzi, Morrison and the Sedins.
While I was thrilled to see Linden back with the team he belonged to...I never did root for the Canucks the same way.
Still never have to this day.