Two thousand eight hundred and forty-three.
That’s the number of combined regular season and playoff games that Henrik and Daniel Sedin played for the Vancouver Canucks. Over the course of their 17-season careers — all in Vancouver — they became consistent offensive producers and two of the most respected players in the game.
After being selected second and third overall in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft by the Canucks, winning a number of trophies for their individual accomplishments, earning Olympic gold medals with Sweden in 2006, and coming within a game of winning the Stanley Cup in 2011, the pair announced their retirement at the end of the 2017-18 season.
On Wednesday, Daniel watched his No. 22 and Henrik his No. 33 as they were raised to the rafters at Rogers Arena.
The touching ceremony occurred ahead of Vancouver’s clash with the Chicago Blackhawks — the team the Canucks requested be in the building for the moment as they “felt it was the most fitting opponent,” according to Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy. The many postseason clashes between the two teams during the Sedins’ time with the Canucks made the decision an obvious one.
And if there was any doubt that the two are a couple of the classiest individuals to ever play in the NHL, they began their speech on Wednesday by sending some love to Jay Bouwmeester following his medical scare the evening before.
The Sedin Twins begin their jersey retirement ceremony speech by wishing the best for Jay Bouwmeester. Pure class. pic.twitter.com/dY7lTAWvEu— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) February 13, 2020
“This is a tremendous honour that we couldn't have ever dreamt of when we first came to Vancouver as 18-year-olds,” Henrik said in June when it was announced ahead of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver that his jersey and that of his brother would be retired by the Canucks, according to NHL.com. “To have our banners next to Stan [Smyl, No. 12], Trevor [Linden, No. 16], Markus [Naslund, No. 19] and Pavel's [Bure, No. 10] is a tremendous honour and very humbling.”
“We could not have accomplished what we did in our careers without the support of our teammates, coaches, staff but most importantly, the fans,” added Daniel after receiving the news over the summer. “To be able to celebrate and thank them in February will be a special week for us and our families.”
Retiring the numbers of the Sedin twins really was a no-brainer for the franchise. Henrik is the team’s all-time leader in regular-season games played (1,330), points (1,070) and assists (830). Daniel, meanwhile, is the Canucks’ all-time leader in goals (393), and is second in regular-season games played (1,306), points (1,041) and assists (648).
Both won an Art Ross Trophy, awarded to the player with the most points at the end of the regular season. Henrik did so in 2010 and Daniel in 2011. The year Henrik won his Art Ross, he also won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s most valuable player. Meanwhile, when Daniel claimed his Art Ross, he received the Ted Lindsay Award, presented to the league’s most valuable player according to the NHL Players’ Association.
More important than their on-ice accomplishments, though, is the difference the two made off the ice in the community they still call home to this day. At the conclusion of their final seasons, the pair accepted the King Clancy Memorial Trophy together in recognition of those contributions.
As part of the celebration on Wednesday, every member of Vancouver’s current team wore either Daniel’s No. 22 or Henrik’s No. 33 for the warm-up that followed the ceremony.
Both Sedins have remained in Vancouver since ending their professional hockey careers on their own terms.
“Our kids grew up here. We love it here. People have been respectful, nice. It reminds us a lot of Swedish people actually,” Daniel said this week, according to Kevin Woodley of NHL.com. “The city has been awesome, so we're Vancouverites.”
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