The Sedins’ Jerseys are Officially Retired

Whether you’re an old fan of the Vancouver Canucks or someone just starting to watch the team, there are two names that you must be familiar with. These are the names of two guys that will go down in Canucks history for their outstanding accomplishments on and off the ice. They’re the names of two players that will be remembered for their dedication to the game, their sportsmanship, and a chemistry unlike anything the NHL has ever seen. Of course, I’m talking about Henrik and Daniel Sedin. Personally, it wasn’t until they retired that I had ever cheered for a Canucks team without the twins, and seeing them leave the game definitely felt like I was watching a piece of my childhood go as well. Now, they’re back in Rogers Arena this week and being celebrated by the city of Vancouver one last time before their jerseys are hung in the rafters forever. It’s only fitting that numbers 22 and 33 will remain side by side in Canucks colours for as long as the team exists, and as all the thanks and praise for the twins rolls in this week, I think this Budweiser video sums up exactly what they meant to the city of Vancouver: 

 

As for the current Canucks team, Sedin week couldn’t have come at a better time. After losing four straight games, they fed off the energy of the crowd and the moment of ‘Legends Night’ on Monday evening and got off to a 3-0 lead in the first period. When the final buzzer sounded, the Canucks, who wearing their fan favourite old school alternates, were winners of a 6-2 game. Clearly, the spark from the first night of Sedin week was something that the fans and players both needed, and will look to be built on for tonight’s game against Chicago. To be honest, this shouldn’t be hard to do, as tonight is the night that the twins’ jerseys will be officially retired. We should fully expect to see a rocking crowd, and in any game like this, the home team is always the favourite. Even in retirement, it seems as if the twins are helping push the Canucks into the playoffs. 

To me, it’s crazy to think that this is it. Even though they retired a few years, you always knew that we’d see them one more time being honoured at Rogers Arena for this special occasion. You always knew how big of a moment it would be for Vancouver, even if half the people in the arena still can’t tell the difference between the two of them. So on their special night, I think it’s time for us to look back on their extraordinary careers and remember how lucky we were to cheer them on for as long as we did, as well as enjoy the celebration and Kevin Bieksa’s roasts.

On June 26, 1999, the Vancouver Canucks drafted Henrik and Daniel with the second and third overall picks in the NHL entry draft. As you may think, it’s never easy to secure two of the top three draft picks of any year, but with some hard work from general manager Brian Burke, the franchise had their guys. As with any high draft picks in a Canadian NHL market, the twins came to Vancouver under a ton of pressure to produce for the team. Although there wasn’t a ton of immediate success for the Swedish duo, the twins really hit their stride in the 2005 season after the lockout. In that season and the next six, Henrik put up at least 70 points every year, while Daniel did it six out of seven times as well. 

When it was all said and done, the Sedins’ stats and awards did the talking. In the 2009/10 season, Henrik won the Art Ross trophy as the player with the highest amount of points in the NHL, as well as the Hart Memorial trophy for being the most valuable player to his team. He was also a two time winner of the King Clancy Memorial trophy. Meanwhile, Daniel took home the Art Ross trophy the year after Henrik, as well as the Ted Lindsay award for being voted as the league’s most outstanding player that same season. This was all done after the twins had already become Olympic gold medallists, a feat they achieved in 2006.

When it comes to career numbers, both have played more than 1000 games and have registered more than one thousand points for the Canucks. They’re the only people to have ever accomplished this in Vancouver. Henrik is the franchise leader in games played, assists, and points. Daniel is second behind Henrik in all of those categories, and is also the franchise’s all time leading goal scorer. However, it may not be the exact statistics that we remember most from the Sedins’ time in Vancouver, but the memories they gave us. Whether it was an unbelievable tic-tac toe goal, a no look pass from one brother to the other, or just another game winner, the Sedins did it all for us as fans. Here’s a look at some of the best plays of their career:

 

For myself, as well as most hockey fans and players from Vancouver that were born in my generation, the Sedins will always be the ones we grew up looking up to. They’ll always be the childhood heroes we cheered on every night while watching the Canucks games with our families. A Daniel Sedin jersey was the first jersey I ever owned, and I’m sure the same can be said for thousands of others out there. Although the Canucks never won the Stanley Cup with the Sedins, you can tell just how grateful the city is to have had the twins. As the next generation of Canucks stars grows older and attempts to do what the twins never could, you can only hope that they treat the game with the same love and respect that Henrik and Daniel did. If they do, maybe that would be my favourite Canucks moment of all time, but for now it’s this one:

 

I’ll always remember being huddled around a small T.V. in a university dorm room celebrating this goal with friends as if it was to take the Canucks back to the Stanley Cup Finals. It was the perfect ending to the careers of the two best Vancouver Canucks of all time.

Thanks for the memories, Henrik and Daniel.

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