Canucks pair could be packing

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:12 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- It's been a decade since Trevor Linden wore the captain's C here.

When he retires, though, that's the way most hockey fans on the West Coast will remember the longtime Vancouver Canuck.

Linden travelled the league for a few years in the late '90s and early 2000s, but his heart was always in B.C. When Linden skated off the ice after last night's clash against the Calgary Flames, all indications were the veteran forward is ready to call it a career.

Linden was named the first star in a 7-1 Flames victory and received a standing ovation as he circled the rink waving to the Canucks faithful.

If last night's game against the Flames -- No. 1,382 of his long career -- was indeed his last in the NHL, Linden has been doing a job of keeping his intentions secret.

Everybody knew Linden was weighing his future, but he wouldn't give the massive pack of reporters in front of his locker-room stall a glimpse of it Friday.

"Every year for the last couple, I've been uncertain about what I may or may not do and so this is no different," said Linden, who was the league's youngest player when he debuted as an 18-year-old rookie back in 1988.

"I am just not prepared to talk about it at this point and, to tell you the truth, I haven't given it a lot of thought. I have been pretty much focused on where we were as a team and that sort of thing."

Where they are now is out of the playoffs -- a disappointing result for Canucks fans.

Linden has shown glimpses of proof he is still able to contribute, but he was also a healthy scratch two dozen times this year.

Having played all but 242 games of his career as a member of the Canucks, most figure Linden wants to retire as a member of the Vancouver organization.

It's possible the franchise will lose another captain, too.

Current leader Markus Naslund is set to become an unrestricted free agent, and some of the media types in Vancouver think he's probably had enough of the coast.

Still in shock about missing the post-season, he was equally uneasy talking about his future.

One reporter asked if he might feel a little different walking through the halls for the last time this season, because it might be the last time.

"Yeah, I might. Who knows what the future holds?" said Naslund. "It's gonna be a little different."


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