9:15 AM PT: Mark it as official:
The Vancouver Canucks announced today that Trevor Linden has been named President, Hockey Operations and Alternate Governor, NHL. Linden returns to lead the team that he played on for 16 seasons, including seven as team captain.
In his role, Linden will be responsible for all hockey operations, including the coaching and scouting staffs, player procurement and development, and minor league affiliations and operations.
One of the rumors from yesterday - which, at this point, doesn't include Jabba the Feaster thankfully - seems to be gaining some steam heading into this morning's press conference.
The Vancouver Canucks are holding a news conference today where the club will discuss the dismissal of general manager Mike Gillis, while sources tell TSN's Farhan Lalji that former Canucks captain Trevor Linden will be named team president.
This quickly solves two problems: first season ticket holders and the fanbase can exhale. Sure this season has been a car-wreck but the powers that be are tapping a local icon to guide them through the stormy waters ahead back to the golden shores of the promised land. Or, you know, something like that just more corporate-speak.
Secondly, it means positioning one of the most popular players in franchise history between Francesco Aquilini and hockey operations because, as you know, the last thing you want is an overbearing owner masquerading as a super fan while pulling all the operational strings at the same time.
If he's coming on as team president, it eases the concern shared by others that tapping Linden to replace Gillis would be a poor knee jerk reaction since he has no back office experience (which, hey, neither did Gillis back in 2008 but that's old news). Just like Neely in Boston and Sakic in Colorado, Linden can simply architect the back office team and serve as the face of the franchise at the same time.
If Linden is indeed coming aboard, the immediate questions - once the warm and fuzzy feeling leaves you a few hours later - will be (a) who is the best GM available to act on his vision for the team and (b) is Tortorella part of the long term solution. More questions than answers still lay ahead.
This remains all speculation until 10:30 AM. We'll keep you posted. Until then, let's enjoy a classic: