It’s the end of an era.
Drafted by the franchise 19 years ago, Henrik and Daniel Sedin are about to complete the two greatest Canucks careers ever.
The only two players in team history to surpass 1,000 points in Canucks colours, the Sedins should find their way to the Hall of Fame one day. If they do, they’ll become the first players to enter as career-Canucks.
There haven’t been two players like them before, and there may not be again. Inventors of the slap-pass, perfecters of the cycle – the Sedins demonstrated so many moments of genius in Vancouver that a term was coined for it.
At their peak, they were the most prolific duo in the National Hockey League.
They won back-to-back Art Ross Trophies, with Henrik winning the Hart (2010) and Daniel taking the Ted Lindsay Award (2011). They were the leaders of the most successful run of Canucks hockey ever, a run that saw the team come within one game of winning the Stanley Cup.
Here are the greatest moments in Henrik and Daniel’s amazing Canucks careers:
It was a draft day like no other.
As two of the highest-rated prospects heading into the 1999 draft, it looked like the Sedins would be split up to start their NHL careers.
That was until then-Canucks GM Brian Burke pulled off a flurry of trades to acquire another draft pick, allowing them to draft Daniel and Henrik second and third overall.
Already holding the third overall pick, Burke sent defenceman Bryan McCabe and a 2000 first rounder to Chicago to get the fourth pick too. Vancouver flipped the fourth pick (along with two third rounders) for the first overall selection, before flipping it again to get the second pick.
The other two highly rated players from their draft year – Patrik Stefan and Pavel Brendl – turned out to be busts.
After remaining in Sweden for a year after they were drafted, it didn’t take long for Daniel Sedin to score his first NHL goal.
It was a clutch goal too.
Converting a beautiful pass from his brother out of the cycle (of course), Daniel scored in his third NHL game to tie the game on the road against the Tampa Bay Lightning with 1:13 left to play.
Denis Pederson added a shorthanded goal with 25 seconds left in the third period and the Canucks won 5-4.
Henrik’s first-career goal was an ugly one.
Doesn’t mean it wasn’t important though.
The playmaking centre tipped a bouncing puck sent on goal by Ed Jovanovski to give the Canucks a 4-2 lead late against Curtis Joseph and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Speaking of ugly and important goals, Henrik’s first-ever playoff overtime goal qualifies.
A floater from the blueline beat Dominik Hasek in the first round of the 2002 playoffs to give Vancouver a surprising 2-0 series lead over the league’s best team.
The 2007 playoffs were the first for the Sedins as the Canucks’ top line.
It was also the first-ever for Roberto Luongo.
What an unbelievable game it was.
After nearly four overtime periods of scoreless hockey, Henrik converted a pass from Daniel to beat Marty Turco for the winner. The game, which ended after midnight, was the longest game in Canucks history, and the sixth-longest in NHL history.
If the NHL has produced a better commercial, I haven’t seen it yet.
Despite a strong year from the Sedins, the 2007-08 season wasn’t a memorable one, as the Canucks missed the playoffs.
But the season included what became known as ‘the shift.’ They dominated the Edmonton Oilers for two minutes before Henrik eventually fed Daniel, who sniped home the 2-0 goal.
Needing points in the final game of the 2009-10 regular season to secure the Art Ross Trophy, the Sedins put an exclamation point on Henrik’s Hart Trophy year.
A between the legs tip-pass by Henrik to his brother was capped off with a between the legs hat trick goal by Daniel. The twins picked up four points each in the game.
Henrik finished the season with 112 points, three more than both Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.
What a goal.
Fresh off winning the regular season scoring title, Henrik showed he could do it in the playoffs too, seemingly put the team on his back with a rush up the ice to beat Jonathan Quick for the game-winner with under three minutes to go in Game 4 against Los Angeles.
Vancouver never looked back after tying the series, winning in six games.
Apart from being great players, the Sedins have proven to be great citizens.
For proof of that, look no further than their $1.5 million donation to help build a new BC Children’s Hospital.
“Henrik and I along with our families feel very fortunate to live and work in this great city and province,” Daniel said at the time. “We are committed to giving back to the community we live in and wanted to do something that would benefit children and families across the province.”
After a failed experiment of having a goaltender as their captain, the Canucks made Henrik Sedin the franchise’s 13th captain before the 2010-11 season.
Original captain Orland Kurtenbach gave him the new jersey in a nice ceremony before the home opener.
The 2010-11 season was the greatest Canucks season of all-time.
Vancouver was the class of the league, winning the first Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history. They slayed the dragon against Chicago in the first round, before beating Nashville and San Jose in rounds two and three.
Though the Canucks came up one game short against Boston, it was a magical ride for fans and the Sedins were two of the biggest reasons why.
Everyone remembers Kevin Bieksa’s overtime winning goal in Game 5 against the Sharks, fewer people remember that it came after dominating pressure from the Sedin line.
The Sedins won back-to-back Art Ross Trophies in 2010 and 2011, but interestingly enough, they each earned a different MVP Trophy.
Henrik won the Hart Trophy in 2010, given annually to the player judged most valuable to his team.
Daniel took home the Ted Lindsay Award in 2011, given annually to the league’s most outstanding player, as voted by the players.
You couldn’t have scripted Henrik’s 1,000th point any better.
A beautiful passing play, with assists to Daniel and Alex Edler, capped by a nice deke past former Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo at Rogers Arena. I mean, come on.
Daniel had to wait until this season to join the 1,000-point club, doing so in dramatic fashion on the road in Nashville.
Getting a pass from Brock Boeser, Henrik Sedin got the second assist on Daniel’s goal to tie the game up in the third period. Vancouver went on to upset the Predators, winning the game 5-3.