THANK-YOU, HANK & DANNY.

Dear Henrik & Daniel,

Thank-you, hardly seems close to enough for what you have given this city for 17+ years, but I’m going to try. First things first, please know that neither one of you have ever once for a second ever let me or this city down.

Fans from around the league have never really understood just how lucky Vancouver Canucks fans have been to have witnessed the entirety of your NHL careers. The road to success wasn’t any easy one, but you both persevered through it all. From playing the Swedish Elite League, to the NHL draft, to a tough start in the NHL, to the 2004-05 lockout, to Olympic Gold medals to pure dominance of Sedinery that led to back to back Art Ross Trophies to accumulating endless franchise records. From rookies to seasoned veteran leaders, you have both exuded professionalism on and off the ice and you have done it with incredible grace.

More than 1200 games each over the last 17 years in Vancouver, you have embodied everything that it meant to have the heart of a Canuck. You were never meant to have success in the NHL, let alone play your entire careers together, lead the top line for an extended period or score many franchise goals or become inspiring pillars within the community or leaders on and off of the ice.

The 1999 NHL draft forever changed not just the league but the fate of the Vancouver Canucks franchise. That day, no one could have predicted that the next 18 years would unfold in such a whirlwind of memorable moments. At the beginning no one was sure of what kind of impact you could or would go on to have in an NHL lineup. There was the constantly mentioned potential but until you both started playing, no one really knew what to expect. Most saw the underlying skill sets that were there but as is the way with a hockey market, when there were growing pains in the early days, quick judgments and assumptions were made. For a while, it seemed like maybe they had all missed the bigger picture and to tell you the truth, in those early days, I had to stop reading the newspapers.

Most people wanted to see what I saw, the potential of what could be beyond those early days, but they also wanted to see the increased numbers and stats right away. It took some time, as is the case with any career, there were some growing pains as you navigated the waters on the way to success. It started slowly, and then suddenly all at once before all the “experts” could complete their critiques, the ever evolving Sedins were flourishing and leading the way.

Through 17+ years, you have seen your fair share of coaches come and go but there were two in particular who saw and helped shape you to be the players you’ve both become. Marc Crawford and Alain Vigneault. Crow & AV always recognized your full potential and yes even made some unconventional choices like putting a pesky Burrows on a line with you one fateful February day that spurred a shift that season and a inspired a few seasons worth of highlights. The critics never stopped with their critiques but you both always found a way to respond with grace and constantly prove them wrong.

You never let the negativity in. You always rose above it all, every step of the way. You have always done whatever was asked of you by the coaches and management. Every day, you were and are consummate professionals on and off of the ice. And when called upon to help within the community with Canucks For Kids, Canucks Autism Network, the BC Children’s Hospital or a myriad of other charities, you are always there. You give everything you have with every shift on the ice and every moment you are constantly giving to the community throughout your continued tenure with the Vancouver Canucks.

Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you and thank-you again for 17+ incredible years of defying the odds, the ever persistent pursuit of your dreams, and inspiring so many more to never give up. I wish you knew just how big of an impact you’ve made on the team, on the franchise, on this city, on this province, and on the fans. You made your coaches proud. You made your teammates proud. You made this city proud. And you’ve made Canucks fans around the globe proud.

IF this is it, IF this is the final hurrah, the final season of your career or IF you keep playing for another year or two, I am going to savour every single moment of Sedinery yet to come. And Henrik, when Daniel joins you, in the 1000 points club this season, we will cheer just as loud, or maybe louder because that means there are now TWO Canucks legends on the roster.

And to THIS fan, no matter what happens at the end of this season or when the day comes that you decide to hang up your skates, you will always and forever be Canucks. When things get tough, all I have had to do was think of how you both always kept pushing forward despite the odds and I am reminded that when you tune out the negative, anything is possible. Thank-you doesn’t seem even close to enough but it’s what I have to offer. Henrik, and Daniel, THANK-YOU, for everything.

Sarah E.L.

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You Better BO-lieve it…

Now that deal is officially signed and Bo Horvat is locked in long-term with the Canucks, it’s time to take a different approach than what I’ve seen making the rounds on social media today.

Where do I begin? Here goes:

Dear Bo,

First, let me say: congratulations on the new contract extension!

I can still remember the day that you were drafted, crystal clear and the slight uproar that followed. It was an unexpected move to hear that Vancouver had traded Cory Schneider for a top ten draft pick, and yes initially some people were upset with the trade. No one knew what to expect when your name was announced by Vancouver or how the future would unfold. Four years later and every one who was uncertain is now rooting for you, wearing your jersey and envisioning a long tenure for you with the Canucks.

Today was a great day for the franchise when they announced your extension. It shows that the team sees what you bring to the team both on and off of the ice now and in the future. Playing in the NHL is no easy feat but you’ve come a long way from the day you were drafted and days in the OHL. From a rookie finding his way developing into a 2-way forward with a knack for timely goals and defensive plays to a community ambassador.

If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be to ignore the negative narratives out there, don’t let them bring you down; instead use those voices to push you and prove all your critics wrong. There will be praise and good days and there will be critics and there will be hard days but from the short time you’ve already been in the league, you have proven that you are able to handle all of it. And if you ever need an example to look to, look no further than to Henrik and Daniel who have been through it all before.

You came into an unknown atmosphere across the country and made a city full of doubters into BO-lievers.

Here’s to the upcoming season about to start that will feature many BO-SCOREvat moments and the start of a very promising future for you and the Vancouver Canucks!

Sarah E.L.

Sedinery: The Beginning of the End?

The rumour mills are in full swing as the 2017-18 NHL season edges ever closer. The latest whispers getting louder out there right now being the possibility that THIS is the Sedins last season playing in the NHL. Is this the end, or perhaps the beginning of the end of the phenomenon that is Sedinery? Just writing and even considering the truth in those questions hurts to think about. The day the Sedins stop playing hockey will be a hard day.

What is Sedinery, you ask? It is the pure magic that has occurred when Henrik and Daniel Sedin have showcased their skill sets on the ice over the years throughout their careers. The Sedins have been a part of the fabric of the Vancouver Canucks since June 1999. In fact, it is impossible or very near impossible to envision the team when they are no longer on the roster.

IF this is in fact their last season, from the day they were drafted (2nd and 3rd overall in ’99) to their veteran days, they have left an indelible mark on the Vancouver Canucks.

From the outside, the Sedins are seen as “soft”, called “sisters”, and in general are viewed as players who are not elite. From the outside, because they have not won the Stanley Cup, often they are not considered worthy to be a part of that discussion. That’s the view from the outside.

From the inside, as a fan who has witnessed their entire career from the beginning, those on the outside do not understand just how elite these two players are.

In Vancouver, they are so much more that just two hockey players. They personify everything that it means to be a Canuck. They are brothers, they are leaders on the ice, they are leaders off the ice, they are resilient, they are well spoken, and they are pillars within the community. They didn’t have an easy path to success, they struggled early in their careers, and some wondered if they would ever make it. They have always been their own worst critics, and despite what so many on the outside have said or speculated, they always rose above it.

I cannot tell you how many times over the years, even when they had their record breaking seasons (including back to back Art Ross trophies), that I read reports from both sides of the hockey world, that often many “experts” missed the truth of who the Sedins are. Yes, they would talk about the facts but they never quite understood the awesome that is seeing the Sedins play the game. The way they read off one another during a game, from shift to shift, on and off the ice, it is beyond magic. They seem to anticipate where the other is, often without even looking up, and making a play that to the outside would seem odd, but if you’ve been paying attention, you knew that some how that puck would find the other Sedin. Just as they always have, they’ve reached record after record in Vancouver, one after the other.

It’s not often ONE player, let alone TWO on the same team will amass more than 1000 points. Only 86 NHL players including, Henrik have joined the 1000 points club. By season’s end, Daniel will once again follow his brother’s foot steps further into the Canucks history books when he scores his 1000th regular season point.

Is it fair that they do not want to be traded and desire to retire as Canucks? ABSOLUTELY, they have more than earned that right to that decision. They have played the entirety of their careers in Vancouver, a place that has been where they’ve played hockey and a place that has become their second home. They have been a part of the team since their draft day. They have seen Vancouver through all kinds of seasons on the spectrum from terrible to record breaking, never wavering on their loyalty to the team or the city.

Truthfully, in Vancouver, we do not deserve the Sedins, but we DO owe them the same loyalty and respect that they have always shown Vancouver. IF this is in fact their last season playing in the NHL, I plan on savouring every last moment of Sedinery as it plays out.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.