Vancouver Canucks should move on from Sedins in 2018

VANCOUVER, BC - APRIL 8: Daniel Sedin
VANCOUVER, BC - APRIL 8: Daniel Sedin /

As Daniel and Henrik Sedin enter their contract years, the Vancouver Canucks need to start preparing for a future without their two franchise icons.

The Vancouver Canucks will be a very interesting team to watch in 2017-18 in more ways than one.

For starters, team president Trevor Linden finally confessed that this team is devoted to a rebuild after years of trying to retool on the fly. That means you can expect to see the kids (Brock Boeser, Jake Virtanen and possibly Olli Juolevi) earn significant ice time in 2017-18.

Also, how will this team look under new head coach, Travis Green? The Canucks will be on their fourth head coach in six years, but Green will receive plenty of time as he works with this young team in a transition stage.

But the main storyline to keep an eye on? The futures of Daniel and Henrik Sedin, who are turning 37 and entering their contract years.

So far, there haven’t been any indications that the Canucks want to trade them, or that the twins would like to play elsewhere when their contracts expire.

But put all the pieces together, and logic suggests the Canucks and the Sedins would be better off discontinuing this partnership. It may sound crazy, but it’s definitely the best for both sides.

Keeping Sedins doesn’t help rebuild

Just take a look at some of the most successful rebuilds in recent memory. The Calgary Flames made a tough choice to part with franchise star Jarome Iginla in 2013, and their rebuild progressed quickly. They’re now among the top teams in the Western Conference.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs moved out captain Dion Phaneuf in 2016 and sniper Phil Kessel in 2015. They now have Auston Matthews and William Nylander to lead the new era.

Heck, even the Arizona Coyotes chose to move on from long-time captain Shane Doan. Why? It doesn’t make sense keeping around a 40-year-old when you’re trying to implement more youth into your lineup.

So keeping the Sedins does what to help the rebuild? They’ll take up more cap space, take away significant ice time from the young players, and their declining production won’t do much to help Green’s system.

You can’t just keep players out of loyalty. The Canucks have to do what’s best for their long-term future, and moving on from a pair of past-their-prime players is the only way they can fully build a contender beyond 2018.

Canucks are loaded at centre

Former head coach Willie Desjardins made a questionable call in keeping Henrik on the first line for most of 2016-17, when Bo Horvat was outplaying the captain for most of the season.Henrik scored just 50 points and had by far his worst season since the 2004-05 lockout.

The numbers suggest he’s better fit as a second line centre. But if newcomer Sam Gagner (18 goals and 50 points in 2016-17), moves to centre, then Henrik should move down to the third line.

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Crazy as it sounds, Brandon Sutter could even produce more than Henrik on offence in 2017-18, given that the latter is getting up there in age real quick.  And then there’s elite prospect Elias Pettersson, who is probably at least two years away from the NHL. But the Canucks are grooming him to be their No. 1 centre of the future.

So now you have Horvat, Gagner, Sutter and Pettersson as Vancouver’s four centres down the road. Does keeping Henrik around after 2018 really make a lot of sense for a team trying to rebuild?

Let Sedins chase a cup

Linden and general manager need to have a chat with the Sedin twins and politely tell them they need to chase a championship and not worry about being loyal to the Canucks. The twins are entering their twilight years, and as they prepare for their age-37 seasons, they know their playing careers are almost over.

Daniel and Henrik have been around for the worst years and the best years in Canucks history. They don’t owe anything else to the franchise at this point. They didn’t capture hockey’s ultimate prize in Vancouver, but they can’t give up on their championship dream.

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The Canucks should be able to work out a deal at next year’s trade deadline, should they decide to move on from the Sedins. If not, Daniel and Henrik can sign with a contender in next year’s offseason — provided they sign modest and cheap deals.

Be honest, Canucks fans. Would you rather see Daniel and Henrik finish out their playing careers in Vancouver? Or does the idea of them finally winning a championship (albeit with another team), seem fair and glorious?


Daniel and Henrik Sedin are the greatest players in Canucks history, no question about it. That doesn’t mean they can’t be traded, though. Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier left the Edmonton Oilers, Patrick Roy left the Montreal Canadiens and Jaromir Jagr left the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The smartest players and the best teams simply know when it’s time to end a partnership — no matter how long and no matter how successful it’s been.

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It may be hard for fans to accept the truth. But at the end of the day, it only makes sense that the Sedin twins aren’t wearing Vancouver Canucks uniforms after the 2017-18 season.