They are the modern-day version of Jean Beliveau, Daniel and Henrik Sedin. You might think it’s a lofty comparison, but consider the way they combine class and humility with the desire to win on the ice.
And as Beliveau was considered hockey royalty in Canada, the Sedins are treated like rock stars in Sweden – they’re as highly respected as any athlete the country has produced.
Following a disastrous season under John Tortorella, the twins went back to work last summer, training hard and preparing so they could re-establish themselves amongst the best in the league.
They did just that: a 23 point increase for Henrik and 29 points for Daniel helped the twins re-establish themselves as top-10 scorers in the NHL. Points aside, they dominated the playoffs like they never had before. Through the first round, the twins led all players in puck possession numbers – when they were on the ice opposing players barely touched the puck.
They also played with a physical edge, throwing hits, getting in on goaltenders – no longer content to live with the “soft” narrative.
“As disappointing as (the first-round loss) is, people should be excited about the future,” said Daniel Sedin at Monday’s year-end media availability.
With Vancouver’s loss to Calgary, there’s a lot of talk about the core being blown up, about moving the older players to make room for the youth. But the Sedins, who will be 35 next season, must be left untouched. They should be afforded respect and some leeway, and be given every chance to win a championship in Vancouver.
“Getting younger doesn’t mean you won’t have a chance to win the Stanley Cup,” said Henrik, adding to what his brother was saying. Asked if they’d be willing to transition to lesser roles as younger players arrived they said no, they were happy taking on more this year – they would’ve gladly played more in the playoffs if needed.
Earlier this season, Canucks fans sprang to the twins’ defence when Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin insulted them publicly on radio.
“They’re odd as sh**,” said Seguin, at the prompting of a radio host in Dallas, joking the Sedins are an example to future NHL brothers of “how not to do things.”
People still think like this, do they have no respect? Canucks fans were incensed upon hearing what Benn and Seguin had said. True to their nature, the Sedins stayed above it, saying the comments didn’t affect them the same way they would if said by their peers or people around them.
The high road – that’s where the Sedins’ prefer to reside. If you need more proof, see Daniel’s reaction to seeing Deryk Engelland’s stick on the ice after being shoved by the Calgary player.
Daniel Sedin is nice, confuses other players (Engelland): https://t.co/ujQSPR8vie
— rivalpiper (@rivalpiper) April 24, 2015
Daniel picked up the stick and returned it to Engelland. The twins never waver: warriors between the whistles; gentlemen outside them.
It’s probably why Michael Ferland’s mother gave her son clear instructions:
“She told me, ‘Leave the Sedins alone.’ She loves them.” reported Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun.
Yes, outside Benn and Seguin, Bill Simmons with his “sports hate” and possibly Mike Milbury, there are many hockey fans pulling for the Sedins around the league.
They are beyond reproach; role models to both young and old, and Trevor Linden and Jim Benning should provide them the roster to win a Cup or two before it’s too late. Daniel and Henrik deserve to be champions.
Just like Jean Beliveau.