The “12 Days of Christmas” is a classic holiday song first published in its current form in 1908. In a nod to the classic carol, join The Hockey Writers as we count down the 12 Days of Hockeymas. Each day, we will provide you with a piece of hockey history as we eagerly await the start of the 2020-21 NHL season.
“On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me two turtle doves.” So, now two days away from Christmas, it’s only fitting that we celebrate one of the most iconic sets of brothers in all of sports. In this installment of 12 Days of Hockeymas, we’ll take a look at Daniel and Henrik Sedin, their career accomplishments and where they stand among other brother-teammates in NHL history.
Throughout their playing days, Henrik was typically regarded as the playmaker, while Daniel was known as the goal scorer. Aside from these distinctions, the two played a very similar game, and it was reflected in their statistics.
|0.805||Points Per Game||0.797|
|61||Power Play Goals||138|
|369||Power Play Points||367|
|38||Game Winning Goals||86|
|1||Art Ross Trophies||1|
|0||Ted Lindsay Awards||1|
|2||King Clancy Memorial Trophies||1|
Aside from goals and assists, the stats are much like their genetics: nearly identical. Henrik has 29 more points, two more power-play points, his points-per-game average is a mere eight one-thousandths of a point higher than Daniel’s, and his plus-minus is 18 better. It’s also worth noting that Daniel played 24 fewer games than his brother due to injury. As far as hardware goes, Henrik has a Hart Trophy to his name, but Daniel has a Ted Lindsay Award, which many feel is more prestigious.
Where They Rank in Canucks History
It took a few years for the Sedins to find their game in the NHL. The twins put up between 30-40 points in their first three seasons, playing primarily on the second line behind the West Coast Express line. After spending the 2004-05 lockout in Sweden, they came back to Vancouver with a vengeance and began their climb up the Canucks’ record books until their retirement.
|5th||Even Strength Goals||1st|
|10th||Power Play Goals||1st|
|1st||Power Play Points||2nd|
|3rd||Game Winning Goals||1st|
In every single one of these categories, a Sedin is sitting in first. And in five of them, the other one is in second. Their positions in the Canucks leaderboards are especially remarkable given the several great players to play in Vancouver. Many would argue that the Sedins are the greatest players in franchise history, and the stats are there to back up that assertion. But how do they compare to the other bands of brothers to play in the NHL?
Brothers in the NHL
Like all “GOAT” debates, there are infinite factors that go into naming the greatest brothers in NHL history. So, to shorten and simplify the criteria of the discussion, we will compare the Sedins only to brothers who actually played on the same team. Below are the most notable sets of siblings with their statistics and awards collected when playing together.
|Daniel & Henrik Sedin||Maurice & Henri Richard||Brent & Duane Sutter||Peter, Anton & Marian Stastny||Bobby & Dennis Hull|
|Points Per Season (Combined)||118.29||107.6||100.33||257.25||129|
|Points Per Season (Individual)||59.145||53.8||50.166||85.75||64.6|
|Ted Lindsay Awards||1||0||0||0||0|
|Art Ross Trophies||2||0||0||0||1|
Henrik and Daniel have nine more seasons together than the next closest set of brothers, so it shouldn’t come as a shock to see how many more goals, assists and points they have than the rest of the pack. When averaging out the points per season, the Stastnys are far and away the leaders. But one could make the argument that Peter, who regularly tallied over 100 points per season, is carrying Anton and Marian in that category. Similar to how the Gretzky brothers have the most combined points for brothers in NHL history, despite Brent only having four in his career.
Championships are also a major component in these debates; they’re the main argument for Tom Brady and Michael Jordan supporters. In that case, Maurice and Henri Richard are the clear-cut victors, winning a Stanley Cup in every season they played together. However, there were only five other teams in the league then, compared to the 29 others that the Sedins had to compete against.
At the end of the day, there are simply too many inconsistencies and asterisks to compare players by statistics over the course of several decades. However, the uncanny chemistry between the Sedins when they were on the ice together is undeniable. They were more accurate with no-look backhand passes than many professionals were on their forehand with their heads up.
They are arguably the most harmonious and dynamic duo of teammates to play together in NHL history, let alone brothers. In a world where sports are increasingly analytically driven, let’s get back to how it should be and let our eyes be the judge.