During our day to day lives, it can be hard to appreciate the good things we have. Life has a way of sweeping us along the current at such a rapid pace, it’s not until we get a chance to sit on the shore and take a breath that we are given time enough to soak in just how lucky we truly are. As we approach the holiday season, a time meant to reflect and give thanks for what we have, I thought it appropriate to take a moment and remind Canuck fans just how fortunate we are that 12 years ago, then-Canucks GM Brian Burke used every ounce of truculence he possessed to draft two brothers named Daniel and Henrik.
What makes the timing of this special is that Henrik, born a whopping six minutes ahead of twin Daniel, needs only one more point (who wants to bet it’ll be an assist?) to reach 700 for his NHL career. Chances are Daniel would be celebrating too, had he not missed 18 games with a broken foot in 2009 — the same year Henrik won the Art Ross and Hart trophies, and the brothers began their ascension into the elite class of NHL forwards. At 685, Daniel will surely have reached the milestone himself before the All-Star break, so we’ll have plenty of opportunity to celebrate. Here’s the really interesting thing for Canucks fans though: the all-time franchise points leader is, of course, Trevor Linden with 756. As Henrik is sitting 57 points back with 53 games remaining, playing at just over a point-per-game average, it’s quite likely that by the end of this season, Henrik Sedin could surpass Linden to become Vancouver’s all-time points leader.
It’s not just the points we need to admire when talking about Henrik and Daniel, though, it’s how they’re scored that makes what these two do so unique and amazing. Here’s one of their many masterpieces that is, like Craig Simpson so accurately puts it, “just magic”.
Over the past 11 years, the Sedins have given Canucks fans the pleasure of watching two brothers from Ornskoldsvik, Sweden (please don’t ask me to pronounce that) grow into perhaps the most truly dynamic duo the game has ever seen. The way they find each other on the ice is simply uncanny, but they also have the ability to get pucks to players not named Sedin in a way that makes you simply shake your head. They’ve become case studies for how to play the cycle game to perfection. As amazing as their passing game can be, teams quickly regret ever thinking that these two can’t score when they want to (let the above youtube video serve as exhibit A). You can say all you want about their lack of “toughness”, but at the end of the day, when you’re talking straight up hockey skill, the Sedin twins are two of the absolute best in the world.
I realize that what I’m saying here isn’t anything that hasn’t been said before; anyone who has watched the Canucks play these past few seasons knows just how good the Sedins are. However, particularly after what happened this past summer, I think we as Canucks fans can sometimes take these two for granted. Had they won a Stanley Cup in June, we’d probably have built a 20ft tall statue of them in the middle of downtown Vancouver in July. As it stands, they don’t yet – and I emphasize yet – have a championship to cement their legacy with us or around the league. With hopefully many years left to play, and many spectacular plays to be made, there’s time yet for fans to marvel at these two wonder twins and their abilities. When the day finally comes that they hang up their skates, when their numbers 22 and 33 are raised side by side in Rogers Arena, and when they are inducted into the Hall of Fame, likely together (argue if you want, but they’ll probably both retire with over 1,000 points to their name), then we’ll have the opportunity to look back and truly appreciate what Daniel and Henrik have meant to hockey and, more importantly, to the city of Vancouver.
For now, just be sure not to forget Brian Burke on your Christmas card list.