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Trevor Linden captained the Canucks for seven seasons and holds the franchise records for games played (1,140) and assists (415), and ranks second in goals. ((Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press))

The Vancouver Canucks have decided to honour former captain Trevor Linden by retiring his sweater number.

The NHL club announced Thursday that it will hold a Trevor Linden Night on Dec. 17, when it will retire the forward's No. 16 before playing the Edmonton Oilers.

"Retiring a player's sweater is one of the highest honours a club can pay to its most elite players and ambassadors," said Chris Zimmerman, the Canucks president and CEO.

"Trevor embodies the qualities we strive for as an organization: character, hard working, commitment, generous and loyal," he added.

"This is a tremendous honour and I am very grateful to the club," Linden said. "To be drafted by the Canucks organization 20 years ago as an 18-year-old and to now have my sweater retired is very humbling and rewarding."

Linden will join some exclusive company. Stan Smyl (12) is the only other former Canucks player to have his number hanging from the rafters at General Motors Place.

Linden, 38, retired this past summer following a 19-season NHL career.

A two-time all-star, Linden tallied 375 goals and recorded 867 career points in 1,382 regular-season games with the Canucks, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders and Washington Capitals.

Linden served as the Canucks captain for seven seasons and holds the franchise records for games played (1,140) and assists (415), and ranks second in goals (318) and points (733).

In addition, Linden amassed 34 goals and 99 points in 124 playoff games, 118 of which came in a Vancouver uniform.

His best post-season campaign came in 1994, when he scored 12 goals and recorded 25 points in 24 games as the Canucks lost to the New York Rangers in seven games in the Stanley Cup final.

A first-round pick (second overall) in the 1988 NHL draft, Linden finished runner-up to defenceman Brian Leetch in voting for the Calder Trophy, awarded to the league's top rookie, for the 1988-89 season.

Linden also served as president of the National Hockey League Players' Association, a position he held from 1998-2005.

As president, he played a key role in the 2004-05 NHL lockout, including getting involved directly in negotiations with league owners.