Former NHLPA president Trevor Linden helped broker the deal that ended the NHL lockout in July 2005. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Unrestricted free agent Trevor Linden made an important decision Tuesday, but it had nothing to do with where he would play hockeyin the fall.

At the NHL Players' Association summer meeting in Whistler, B.C., the veteran forward announced he would not seek re-election as union president.

Linden, who played the pastthree-plus seasons with the Vancouver Canucks, held the position since June 1998.

A new NHLPA executive committee is expected to be named Wednesday.

Linden, 36, helped broker the deal on July 22, 2005 that ended the year-long NHL lockout that wiped out the 2004-05 season.

Getting the sides back together

With the season hanging in the balance, Linden got the union and the league back to the table with NHL negotiators for a meeting in January 2005.

Earlier, league owners had rejected a union proposal that included a 24 per cent salary rollback.

Six months later, the NHL and its players' union finally found common ground, agreeing on a collective bargaining agreement.

Linden, a native of Medicine Hat, Alta., played all 82 games for the Vancouver Canucks in 2005-06, scoring seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in his 17th NHL season.

He has 356 goals and 474 assists for 830 points in 1,243 career NHL games with Montreal, Washington, the New York Islanders and Vancouver.