The Vancouver Canucks are set to retire Daniel and Henrik’s Sedin’s jerseys, Nos. 22 and 33, into the rafters at Rogers Arena tonight. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the greatest moments from their legendary careers. As I sat down to write this article, I came across a problem – how is it possible to narrow down the greatest moments of two absolute legends who gave all they had, and so much more, to one city? I’ve come to the following conclusion – the way they would want it done would be nothing flashy, nothing too crazy. Knowing the twins, they may not even want recognition for their achievements.
That’s just the way they carried themselves over their near 20-year careers with the Canucks. They rarely basked in the glory of the amazing things they did, and were quick to shift the focus to their teammates whenever they had the chance to do so. That is, unless there was a crushing loss or a mistake to answer to; in those situations, the Sedins almost always put the blame on themselves and were the ones standing in their street clothes, answering questions while the rest of their teammates had left the arena.
The Giving Sedins
They did so much in their time in Vancouver that it’s hard to just narrow it down to a few highlight reel plays. Their work in the community might be their greatest achievement ever, as the number of smiles they put on children’s faces during their countless visits to BC Children’s Hospital over the years is something I’m sure both the twins and those kids will never forget. On top of all the visits to the kids whose circumstances were so incredibly unfortunate, the Sedins made a generous donation of $1.5 million to BC Children’s Hospital. It’s no wonder everyone talks about their off-ice contributions nearly as much as their on-ice contributions.
The two would often be seen in their days off out in the community. Whether it was doing the Grouse Grind together, coaching their kids’ sports teams, or playing in charity soccer matches, the twins always had time to stop and talk to fans. While the twins’ charitable work and graciousness with fans and media members alike will never be forgotten, their play on the ice has produced some of the greatest and most memorable moments in Vancouver Canucks history. There’s the signature “Sedinery” when the two would pass the puck to one another as though the puck was on a string.
The twins always seemed to know where not only their lookalike would be on the ice, but the rest of their teammates, as well. They helped Anson Carter, a 10th-round pick of the Quebec Nordiques in the 1992 Draft, score a career-high 33 goals in the 2005-06 season; all thanks to being on a line with two Swedish magicians. They would later be one of the NHL’s most dangerous lines with the undrafted Alex Burrows riding shotgun on their wing, especially in 2010-11, when the Canucks made that incredible Stanley Cup Final run.
“The Shift(s)” by Daniel and Henrik Sedin
There is much discussion about which shift of Daniel and Henrik’s career is their most dominant. There are many candidates, in fact, there’s a Youtube video simply titled “22 Minutes of Dominant Sedin shifts”. Among the best are the 2007 shift against the Edmonton Oilers, back when the likes of Mattias Ohlund, Sami Salo, and Lucas Krajicek were patrolling the Canucks blueline. These three or so minutes are some of the greatest in Canucks’ history. The twins absolutely controlled the zone, and even the Canucks’ power play expired, the Sedins were still playing keep away from five tired Oilers.
The Sedins essentially invented what became their signature slap pass, with Henrik usually being the playmaker on the play. Daniel or another Canuck forward would streak to the net with their stick on the ice and redirect a hard slap pass toward the net. This was a hard play for the goaltender to read, especially before the rest of the league caught on and started mimicking the play.
When they played keep-away and passed the puck to one another, there was almost no chance of the opposition getting the puck. They would become so gassed that they would stand in one place and simply wait for the Sedins to make a move. That is why there were so many dominant Sedin shifts over the course of their careers – that incredible hockey IQ, along with world-class playmaking abilities. Watching the twins work the puck was always a treat.
Sedin Storybook Moments
You couldn’t have written some of the Sedins’ greatest moments any better. Two historic goals to join the 1000-point club. Henrik’s coming against all-time Canucks’ leader in wins, Roberto Luongo. After the goal, the two former teammates exchanged a quick embrace as Luongo congratulated Henrik on reaching 1000 points. Henrik only scored 15 goals in the 2016-17 season, but that is one that he will surely never forget. Daniel’s 1000th point came on the road against the Nashville Predators, and fittingly, it was scored on the power play, with Henrik picking up the assist.
If you thought those 1,000-point stories were great, they’re nothing in comparison to the final games of the twins’ careers. The two had announced their retirement with just three games remaining in the 2017-18 season. As soon as they made that announcement, the final two games at Rogers Arena almost instantly sold out. Tickets were being resold at astronomical prices, as everyone wanted to witness the final moments of two Vancouver legends’ memorable careers.
The Canucks finished that season with two home games, followed by their final game on the road in Edmonton. The twins final home game saw them match up against the Arizona Coyotes, with fans rising to their feet and chanting “Go Sedins Go” nearly every time the twins had a shift. Daniel scored two goals in that final home game, while Henrik picked up two assists. The storybook moment, however, came in overtime of that game at the 3:33 mark of overtime, when Daniel took a pass from Henrik and let go a slapshot that found the back of the net, winning the game for his team, one last time. Let me just say, I don’t think Rogers Arena has ever been that loud before, not even for a playoff game.
As I wrap up this article and close all the tabs of all the highlight clips and mic’d up videos from the Sedins magnificent careers, I ask myself, did we take them for granted? I would give almost anything to see them play on a competitive Vancouver Canucks team one last time. I guess you truly don’t know how lucky you are to have something until it’s gone. It’s hard to pick out single plays or highlights as the greatest moments of the twins’ careers, because, to be honest with you, they gave us great and memorable moments almost each and every night. I can’t think of two players more deserving to have their jerseys hung from the rafters at Rogers Arena.
Enjoy more great hockey history and ‘Best of’ posts in the THW Archives