Vancouver Canucks: Sedins Not Owed Another Stanley Cup Run

Nov 21, 2015; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Daniel Sedin (22) and center Henrik Sedin (33) react against the Chicago Blackhawks at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 21, 2015; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Daniel Sedin (22) and center Henrik Sedin (33) react against the Chicago Blackhawks at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports /

Daniel and Henrik Sedin had their chance to win the Stanley Cup with the Vancouver Canucks in 2011. Management needs to do what is best for the organization long-term, even if it means the Sedins won’t get another shot.

Whenever anyone suggests the Vancouver Canucks should trade Daniel Sedin or Henrik Sedin, this writer is among the first to scoff.

The twins have matching $7 Million salary cap hits, with full no-movement clauses. As long as Daniel and Henrik desire to play on the same team, they will not be traded — no contending team has $14 Million in salary cap room plus two top-six roster spots anyway.

The Sedins are staying with the Vancouver Canucks at least until their current contracts expire.

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And why should it be any different? Daniel and Henrik have been the cornerstones of the Vancouver Canucks franchise for over a decade. While the twins’ peak years are behind them, they continue to be the most productive Canuck players year after year. The last non-Sedin to lead the team in scoring was one Markus Naslund in 2005-06.

Daniel and Henrik provide more than veteran leadership to a new generation of Canucks players; they lead the way on the ice. They are not just two of the best Canucks ever; they are the two best Canucks right now. 

If fans think the Canucks were bad this season, they should imagine how bad they would have been without their veteran stars. Daniel and Henrik don’t need to show the Canucks this much loyalty this late in their careers, but they do so anyway; we fans are profoundly grateful they have.

At the same time, there is another reality in the twins’ current situation: the Vancouver Canucks don’t owe the Sedins another Stanley Cup run. 

There is a feeling amongst some fans that the Canucks should aim to contend for the Stanley Cup in the next two years to give Daniel and Henrik another chance to win it all:

It’s a nice thought, and it shows how much fans love the Sedins and recognize the contributions they’ve made to this team; but the Canucks do not owe the Twins another chance to win.

If it were possible for the an NHL team in the salary cap era to assemble a cup contending team entirely through free agency and trades, the Canucks might be able to build a winning team around the Sedins in the limited time they have left with the franchise.

If it were that simple, every team would do it.

Unfortunately, the road to building a Stanley Cup team is a long one, and there are zero shortcuts.

It has become a cliché in the last couple years, but it bears repeating: contending teams are built through the draft. Trades and free agent signings can make a good team into a great one, but securing the best possible talent for the longest possible time means taking that talent at the draft and patiently waiting for them to develop into elite players.

Related Story: Who Will Lead the Canucks After the Sedins?

If fans want this Vancouver Canucks team to become a legitimate contender, it will take time — likely more time than the Sedins have. Sad, but true.

It hurts to admit it, but the Sedins were already given their chance to win with a contending team, they were just not able to win. The Sedins’ window was open from 2010 to 2012, when Daniel, Henrik and their contemporaries were in their prime. They came oh-so-close, but fell short.

That window cannot be opened again.

For fans, 2011 still stings, but it cannot be changed. That was the Sedins’ best chance to win, and they might very well not get another opportunity. Daniel and Henrik surely understand this; fans need to understand it too.

While I see no good reason for the Sedins not to retire as Vancouver Canucks, they may decide to take another shot at the Cup. If so, Canucks fans will hardly begrudge them leaving for a better opportunity.

Whether they stay Canucks forever or join another team for a year or two, fans need to understand that the chance to play for a contender is always something that players have to earn. Contending teams earn their own chance to win.

The Vancouver Canucks cannot become a contending team overnight; but even if they could, management still should not sacrifice the long-term health of the Canucks organization to give veteran players — even beloved ones — a last, desperate chance to win.

If they want another chance at the Stanley Cup, Daniel and Henrik will have to make it themselves.

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If Daniel and Henrik see an opportunity to challenge for another Stanley Cup before they retire, I hope they seize it. We all hope that opportunity is with the Canucks; but if their only chance to win is with another team, this is not a failure on the part of Trevor Linden or Jim Benning.

Sometimes, that’s just the way it goes.