Vancouver Canucks: Sedins make the right choice to retire

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 11: Daniel Sedin
GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 11: Daniel Sedin /

Though the pending retirements of Daniel and Henrik Sedin leave a hole in the Vancouver Canucks — on the ice and in the locker room — the twins made the best possible decision in hanging up the skates.

Vancouver Canucks fans received some of the most emotional news in the history of the franchise, with twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin announcing their plans to retire at the end of the season.

The brothers penned a letter to the city and fans, thanking them for all of their support, adding that it “became clear, after discussions with our families throughout the year, that this will be our last season.”

Though many fans and pundits maintained that it’d be best for the twins to play elsewhere or retire, the news is still tough to swallow for any fans. The Canucks have never had a franchise star like Daniel or Henrik.

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They spent 18 years in Vancouver, built this team into a consistent championship contender and did countless work outside the community.

They aren’t just hockey players, but excellent role models who’ve touched the hearts and inspired an entire city. For me, this was not easy news to stomach.

It’s especially hard to see the brothers retire when they’re still 50-point players and have a lot of hockey left.

Even if they were only putting up 20-30 points each, you never want to see two franchise legends retire. We’ve been accustomed to seeing their slick cycling and finishes for nearly 20 years.

But take away the emotional aspect of their plans to retire, and it only makes sense for the twins to retire, and it only helps the Canucks finally accelerate even more on what’s been a painful and slow rebuilding process.

Making room for the future

The Sedins said it best in their letter:

"It’s time to let the next generation of young players lead the Canucks. Travis is building a strong culture and emphasizes a style of play we know will be successful. The team is in great hands, with people who care about its success and it’s headed in the right direction. We know there is a bright future for the Canucks."

Indeed, it is time for the next wave of Canucks. They do have a handful of proven young talents in Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser, Jake Virtanen and Sven Baertschi. Other prospects like Adam Gaudette, Thatcher Demko, Elias Pettersson, Jonathan Dahlen and Olli Juolevi only make the future look a little brighter.

Gaudette and Demko have already made their debuts, and should be on the roster next year. Pettersson, Dahlen and Juolevi also have legitimate shots of being on full-time NHL players next season.

The Canucks are also stuck with the bad contracts of Brandon Sutter and Loui Eriksson, so there wasn’t much room for the young forwards/prospects unless a couple veterans moved on. The Sedins have selflessly and rightfully decided it’s time for the team to move forward with the youngsters.

Related Story: Canucks: Why they need to cut ties with Sedins

Keeping the Sedins around for the sake of fans would have been fun, but it doesn’t help the Canucks rebuild. We all know you can’t move forward if you stay in the past. The Sedins could keep playing, but they’d only be holding back ice time and opportunities for the future of the franchise.

In retiring, they’re going to let these other players develop and hopefully morph into superstars. Vancouver can now be younger and faster in 2018-19. The full rebuild will finally take place, and does the franchise ever need it.

Leaving on a high note

Would the Sedins really maintain this 40-50 point pace entering their respective age-38 seasons? We don’t know for sure, but isn’t it ever nice to know that they’ll walk away from the game as selfless leaders who were playing at high levels?

We saw Jaromir Jagr play probably another year too long, and he had a rather disappointing departure from the NHL. Ditto for Martin Brodeur (last season with St. Louis Blues), and Mike Modano (last season with Detroit Red Wings), who could have retired with the one franchise but opted to play one final season with new teams.

The twins aren’t leaving as players who are too slow and can’t play the game anymore. They aren’t leaving as greedy veterans trying to make extra cash. They aren’t leaving as players who played way too many extra years that only held back the youngsters. They are retiring on one very high note.

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In their letter, the twins emphasized the need to spend more time with their families. Again, two selfless and classy leaders who put everyone before themselves. They’re leaving the perfect image of themselves as they prepare to skate their final days as NHL players.