British Columbia

Trevor Linden says Canucks will 'compete every night'

Despite less than stellar prospects for the season, the Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations promises a fight.

Despite less than stellar prospects for the season, the Canucks president promises a fight

Canucks president Trevor Linden says the team will work hard to be competitive this season, although it faces a difficult Western Conference. (Rich Lam/Getty Images)

While some experts have picked the Vancouver Canucks to finish dead last in the league this year, the team is asking fans to give them a chance.

Vancouver Canucks president Trevor Linden is reassuring worried hockey fans the team will be working hard to be competitive this year.

"They're obviously looking to bounce back from last season. I've said to the guys, we want to be a hard team to play against. We want to compete every night and at the end of the day, we want to be in the fight when it comes playoff time," he told host Rick Cluff on CBC's The Early Edition.

Linden admitted the Western Conference is a tough one this year and he said the biggest challenge will be finding a way to score goals.

"We've got to be a better team group," he said "We've got to do a good job defensively and be good on the powerplay."

Linden also defended the team's transitioning period.

"There's this mentality that it's all or nothing — where you blow it up and get rid of everyone. [That] is virtually impossible," he explained.

"Every move we've made has been with the future firmly in our scope. I like the transition that we've done. I like the direction and the young players and where we're going."    

Ticket sales down

The low expectations for the team have hurt ticket sales this year, and even sports vendors and bars are bracing for a dismal season.

Nevertheless, Linden remained optimistic, pointing out though the season ticket base is shrinking, new people were joining the season ticket program.

"It's definitely not the fever pitch it was in 2011 ... but our fans are passionate. They care, and we're going to have to deliver an entertaining product," Linden responded.

The Canucks have their season opener, Saturday Oct. 15 at home against the Calgary Flames.

With files from The Early Edition

To hear the interview, click on the link labelled Trevor Linden says Canucks will compete every night