For once, Daniel and Henrik Sedin have failed. Their heartfelt love letter to Vancouver and the Canucks in The Players’ Tribune won’t fully extinguish questions about their National Hockey League future. At least as long ago as the 2012 lockout, the Sedins have been telling me and others who asked that they intended to finish their careers as Canucks. They understood the life-cycle of a team and knew what was coming: losses, criticism and a difficult phase of rebuilding that they are only now experiencing as players after entering the NHL in 2000. They were comfortable with themselves and their team. They were — and are — eager to mentor and set the example for players coming into the organization. They have even said, repeatedly, that they don’t fear the time they are no longer front-line players on the Canucks because when they are usurped it will mean younger players have developed well enough under their watch to inherit the Sedins’ coveted duties. Canucks hockey-operations president Trevor Linden, who along with Markus Naslund, mentored and encouraged the Sedins early in their careers when a permanent return to Sweden was a definite possibility after the twins’ rocky transition to the NHL was met not only with criticism but unvarnished disparagement. Few star players in NHL history — remember, the Sedins each won a scoring title, Henrik won the Hart Trophy in 2010, Daniel the Ted Lindsay Award in 2011 — have been belittled on a personal level as much as the Sedins were and, occasionally, still are.
Players’ Tribune article doesn’t extinguish Sedins’ NHL future questions
Sportsnet | Sep 11