Vancouver Canucks: What if the Sedins didn’t retire?

VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 5: Daniel Sedin /

Vancouver Canucks icons Daniel and Henrik Sedin retired after the 2017-18 season, handing the keys over to the likes of Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser. But what if the twins decided to give it one more year?

On the morning of April 2nd, 2018, the Sedin twins announced their plans to retire.

Just a day after April Fools Day, many Canucks fans hoped that’s all the tweets popping up on their feed were, a day late April Fools joke. Yes, it was true, the Sedin twins were retiring from the National Hockey League after playing for almost 20 years, all for the Vancouver Canucks.

There were three games left in the season. Two at home, one in Edmonton. I remember calling my friend and asking him if he wanted to make a road trip to Edmonton to watch the final game because by 11 a.m., tickets for the final two games at Rogers Arena were almost sold out. Everyone who hadn’t been paying attention to the rebuilding Canucks were all paying attention now.

The twins played their final game and it was emotional for everyone in the arena. The arena was packed to the brim, and it was loud. Oh boy was it loud in that arena. When Daniel scored the overtime winner, I could have sworn Canucks fans set off a seismograph somewhere. You couldn’t hear yourself think, not because of the people around you, but because you yourself were screaming at the top of your lungs.

After the dust had settled, and the Sedins acknowledged the roaring crowd a couple more times, the Sedins’ were getting interviewed in front of the Canucks bench. No one made the normal bee-line to the exit to catch the sky train that night. Everyone wanted to soak in this moment and witness the twins final game in its entirety.

As the Sedins were being interviewed by Dan Murphy, a chant broke out amongst the fans at Rogers Arena. “One more year! One more year!” The chant was ignored until that very chant became the next question asked.

“What do you say? One more year?” The Sedins did the classic Sedin move and shifted the focus off of themselves and onto the “great group of guys” the Canucks had.

Which brings us to what this very article is about. What if the Sedins had listened to the chant and stayed for one more year? What would this year have looked like?

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Now, I’m not saying the Sedins re-signing would have been best for the team. I’m not saying it would have been a bad decision either, I am simply asking, what if? What if two of the best players and people in franchise history approached general manager Jim Benning and expressed their desire to come back?

For starters, we can assume Jay Beagle would not have been signed in free agency. Every time  Benning was asked about how he planned to replace the veteran leadership the Sedins brought to the team, he hinted at signing vets in free agency.

Hence the Beagle signing. So yes, the penalty kill would have taken a hit for this season, and Bo Horvat would have to play big minutes in the defensive end, but that is something he’s proved he’s more than capable of.

What kind of money would the twins require to come back? Now, for our purposes, let’s say that the twins were persuaded to play another year based on the energetic crowd and great moments they experienced in what turned out to be the final games of their careers.

They want to come back and don’t need money to help persuade them. I’m not an NHL GM, so I won’t put a number on it, but as a fan, I would be fine with giving each of them a one or two year deal, for anywhere from two to four million dollars each.

What would the lines have looked like? We can assume that Elias Pettersson makes the team out of camp, because, well he’s Elias Pettersson. The question is, with the Sedins being an offensive line, do you move Pettersson to the wing and let him play with the Sedins?

Or, do you let Petey play as a center in the top-six, bumping the Sedins down to the third line with a winger like Antoine Roussel? Does Loui Eriksson get yet another shot playing alongside his fellow countrymen?

In my opinion, Pettersson belongs in the center position. Sure he could improve his face-offs, but having the play run through him is just too good to pass up on by moving him to the wing. So the Canucks top-six remains about the same if you ask me, with Brandon Sutter and the Sedins making up the bottom-six.

Playing an abbreviated role is something the twins were not used to until head coach Travis Green took over last year. The Sedins both had an average time on ice of roughly 15 minutes last year. Last season was the first time their average time on ice was below 16 minutes since the 2003-04 season. The twins, however, did not complain.

They produced the aforementioned 105 points despite this drop in ice time. We can only hope they would do the same playing third line minutes behind Petey and Bo. We know they wouldn’t complain about it, that’s for sure.

Along with all of this, the big question has to be asked, with the Sedins playing on the team this year, would the Canucks increase or decrease their chances of making the playoffs? Honestly, I don’t think it increases the chances. When healthy, these Canucks were rolling along, and now that more and more of the Canucks are getting healthy, we are starting so the team we knew back in October.

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So what do you think? Do the Canucks play better or worse this season if Henrik and Daniel are apart of the team?