Sedins put on a show in final home game

Sports | Lifestyle

The end of an era |

Henrik and Daniel Sedin would never want this.

All the recognition, tribute videos, and social media posts of support from teammates and other players across the NHL is something they wouldn’t push for.

Unlike other sports stars, such as Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees, who announced at the beginning the 2014 season would that the year would be his last in the MLB. The twins waited until the final three games of the year to announce the 2017/18 season would be the last in their hall of fame careers.

It would, dare I say, be ‘un Sedin-like’ to announce their retirement anyway else.

To me, and surely to many more hockey fans across the country, Daniel and Henrik Sedin are more than just all time great Vancouver Canucks and future Hall of Famers.

Since Jeter declared his retirement at the beginning of the season, other teams had a chance to give him a ‘farewell tour’ in his last season.

From there, numerous teams serenaded Jeter with gifts as a token of farewell. The Los Angeles Angels presented him with a stand-up paddleboard, while the Houston Astros gifted Jeter a custom pair of cowboy boots. In the end, some of the gestures may seem over the top, but the point to take from this is that these teams had a whole year to celebrate Jeter’s legacy.

The Sedin’s wouldn’t want something like that; but, maybe they should.

To me, and surely to many more hockey fans across the country, Daniel and Henrik Sedin are more than just all time great Vancouver Canucks and future Hall of Famers.

The twins were the driving force behind the most successful decade in the Canucks nearly 50 year history.

Since the Sedins became regular mainstays on the Canucks’ first line in 2005, they led the Canucks to seven playoff appearances, six division titles, and two President’s trophies (the award given to the team with the most points in the regular season).

Perhaps, the Sedin’s greatness was best displayed t in the 2010/11 season, when they led the Canucks to within 60 minutes of hockey’s holy grail, the Stanley Cup.

In that magical year, Daniel led the team with 104 points during the regular season, while Henrik was second with 94. In the playoffs, the Sedins were again one and two in Canucks scoring, but this time Henrik ahead of Daniel by 22 points to 20.

Off the ice that season the Sedins left an even more impactful legacy.

In 2010, Henrik and Daniel donated $1.5 million to help build a new B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. This was one of the ways the twins expressed their gratitude for the city they both lived and worked in for so many years.

And while it would have been easy for the Sedins leave it at that, they didn’t. They continued to make multiple visits to the hospital throughout the year, sometimes officially with other Canucks, sometimes alone and without any media coverage.

As a writer, I take pride in being able to describe my emotions in words, but I find myself struggling to describe how fortunate I feel to have grown up in the Sedin’s era.

The company my dad works for has received Canucks season tickets since the mid 1990’s, and I was lucky enough to attend multiple games during the Canucks reign atop the NHL.

I was in Rogers Arena (Section 114, row 17, seats 3 and 4, yes the seat numbers are forever ingrained in my head) with my dad during that fateful Game Seven against the Boston Bruins.

For someone who has raced in the U Sports Cross Country Nationals for the Vikes, and for Team B.C. at Canadian Nationals, walking into that stadium was without a doubt the most nervous I have ever been in my whole life.

Unfortunately, the Canucks got drubbed 4-0 to the Bruins and haven’t come close to reaching the Stanley Cup Finals again.

However, the class, respect, and humble traits the Sedins showed after the game were characteristics I admired and I made a promise to myself as a child that I would instill those manners in my own personal pursuit of sports excellence.

I was fortunate to be in the stands again for their last ever game at home, against the Arizona Coyotes on Apr. 5, and the atmosphere was electric. The constant roars of the crowd rekindled my memories of being there for the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.

After three periods of play, the Canucks and Coyotes were still deadlocked at 3, and headed to overtime.

But when the Sedins took centre stage, they delivered the fans a Hollywood ending.

In fitting fashion Henrik set up Daniel for the game winning goal in overtime, and I’m surprised the roof didn’t blow off Rogers Arena. The Canucks stormed off the bench, and celebrated with the twins like they won the Stanley Cup.

Although there wasn’t a year-long farewell tour across the NHL for the Sedins, on that April night, the Vancouver faithful gave Henrik and Daniel the perfect send-off they never would have clamoured for, but deserved.