Henrik and Daniel Sedin are Canucks for life, it seems.
The Sedins, speaking with Arizona-based reporter Craig Morgan before Vancouver’s game against the Coyotes on Thursday, said as much.
“If they see a future for us then we might have another year in us here after next year,” Henrik Sedin told Morgan post-practice. “If not, I don’t think we’re prepared to go anywhere else.”
The all-time leading scorers in Canucks history will enter the last year of a contract that pays them $7 million each next season. After that, who knows what the future holds.
The Sedins are finishing up perhaps the most disappointing season of their careers, as age appears to have finally caught up them.
Still effective players, the twins are not first line players anymore. Not on a good team, anyway.
Although they rank second and third in scoring on the Canucks, respectively, that says more about the team around them than their performance. It’s not their fault, of course. Age catches up with everyone.
The Sedins will turn 37 in September, and their best years are clearly behind them.
With 48 points, Henrik has his worst points per game average since 2003-04. Daniel has 42 points, which is his worst season statistically since 2002-03.
“It’s not a league where you can go back and think you’re going to dominate,” Daniel added. “It’s not like you can go back and play on the decline. You’ve got to be at the top of your game. You have to prepare the same way. It’s a tough league.”
While their contracts would be difficult to move, they become easier to trade in the last year of their deals. And on July 1, 2018, they can choose to sign with a contender as unrestricted free agents.
The message from the Sedins is that they have no interest in pursuing either one of those options, and you have to admire their loyalty. They could try and chase a Stanley Cup, but they bleed blue and green.
Clearly, next season will be a big one for their future.
If the Sedins struggle again, they could decide to retire. If they bounce back but the team bottoms out again, talk of trading them at the deadline (despite their no-movement clauses) will get louder. Either way, if the Canucks finish near the bottom of the league for a third straight year, you have to think the incentive to retire will be huge.
While the Sedins could certainly have a bounce-back season – it’s not out of the realm of possibility – the direction of the team will surely affect how long they want to stick around for, too.
Their point production is on the decline, but it has coincided with a weaker supporting cast. They’ve also remained remarkably healthy, as two of three Canucks to play every game this season. So perhaps there’s still gas left in the tank. If they see signs of hope (ie. positive development of their young players), then perhaps the career-Canucks would be willing to act as mentors on a second line for as long as they can.