VANCOUVER - The memories in hockey are many for Trevor Linden and he had no trouble recalling some of his fondest at Pacific Coliseum, the rink where he will be honoured Saturday night by the Vancouver Giants.
Linden broke into the NHL as an 18-year-old and played the first seven seasons of his NHL career there before the Vancouver Canucks moved downtown in the fall of 1995.
Among other highlights, he cited his first home game, his first home-ice goal against Grant Fuhr of the Edmonton Oilers, Pavel Bure's first game, ousting the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 5 of the 1994 Western Conference final and beating the New York Rangers in Game 6 of the '94 Stanley Cup final.
Then there was the time he put St. Louis Blues defenceman Jeff Norton through the glass during the first round of the 1995 playoffs.
“Yeah, that was kind of odd,” Linden said Thursday, smiling at the thought. “I mean, I felt bad for the people in the front row. They were enjoying the game with some popcorn and a soda and, next thing you know, they had a 200-pound hockey player on their lap. It was kind of funny because I wasn't sure what to do. I had just delivered this player on top of these people and I wasn't sure if I should help get him out, or not.”
Nine people were treated for minor cuts and the Canucks lost the game 5-2. They eventually won the series in seven.
Game 6 of the '94 final produced some high drama, including the iconic photo of a bloodied and exhausted Linden tapping helmets with netminder Kirk McLean following the 4-1 victory over the Rangers. Jim Robson also uttered his famous 'Linden will play, you know he'll play, he'll play on crutches' call as the game came to its conclusion.
“That photo, I mean, yeah, I've signed a few of those in my day,” Linden said.
Saturday night's pre-game ceremony, part of the Giants 'Heroes on Hastings' series, begins at 7 p.m. The Giants will wear 1945-46 throwback Canuck uniforms when they face the Tri-City Americans.
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