Thursday, September 10, 2015

Jamie Linden Autographed Card

Jamie Linden is the tough younger brother of Vancouver Canucks legend Trevor Linden. He was signed as a free agent after his time in Juniors by the expansion Florida Panthers in 1993, despite having never been drafted - he was of the 20-point, 200-PIMs right winger variety.

He did end up appearing in 4 games for the Panthers in 1994-95, registering 17 penalty minutes and a -1, but mostly spent his time in the minors, in the AHL for a bit but mostly in the IHL. Here he is with the Cincinnati Cyclones, a Panthers affiliate at the time, from Classic's 1993-94 Pro Hockey Prospects set (card #134), which he signed in blue sharpie, probably around 1997:
The Cyclones have existed in name since 1990, as an IHL team (1992-2001) and an ECHL team (1990-92, 2001-04, 2006-present), as two separate entities. The first ECHL team existed, then its owner (Doug Kirchhofer) was awarded an IHL team, which he also named the Cyclones, but sent his ECHL team to Alabama where they became known as the Birmingham Bulls; they eventually moved to New Jersey where they became the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies, winning the Kelly Cup in 2002-03, but eventually moved to California, becoming the Stockton Thunder, then to New York State to become the Adirondack Thunder, where they are now affiliated to the Calgary Flames and Stockton Heat.

The other franchise lasted until the IHL folded in 2001, after which they sold their name to a new ECHL franchise that had previously been named the Louisville RiverFrogs and the Miami Matadors, before laying dormant as a non-existent entity owned by a group in... Birmingham, Alabama. It lay dormant again during the NHL lock-out (2004) but came back in 2006 to much success after securing an affiliation deal with the Montréal Canadiens and Hamilton Bulldogs, winning the Kelly Cup in 2008 with star player David Desharnais, and again in 2010.

Their current NHL affiliation is with the Nashville Predators.

As for Linden, he suffered a pretty awful injury in 1995 that necessitated going to court to obtain worker's compensation, and from the 1995-96 season onward, he would split his time between the AHL (Carolina Monarchs) and IHL (Grand Rapids Griffins and Las Vegas Thunder), retiring before the millennium kicked in.

Nowadays, he dabbles in real estate, an adventure he got into with his brother but now carries out mainly with other partners, because the elder Linden is now the Canucks' president (and kind of has a lot on his plate as is).

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