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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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.

Welcome to the Club

They said it was impossible. They said he didn’t have what it takes to make it long term in the NHL. They have spent years berating him and his brother for everything they do on and off the ice. They have no idea just how valuable these two players have been to the Vancouver Canucks organization, fans and the city of Vancouver.

Henrik Sedin deserves all kinds of respect in the hockey world despite arguments from those on the outside will say. They can keep telling us all the insults, there is not one negative thing that Canucks fans haven’t heard over the years. They will keep proving why they ARE deserving of being inducted into the hall of fame one day down the road.

From a rookie searching for his game to a now seasoned veteran leading the way on and off the ice. Friday night was all kinds of incredible for Canucks fans to witness as Henrik Sedin had another night for the record books.

All week you could feel the energy building up in Vancouver as Henrik edge ever closer to the milestone. Walking into Rogers Arena for the game against the Florida Panthers, you could feel the anticipation in the air. There was a buzz among fans as we were ready to witness Henrik Sedin reach yet another milestone. His very first NHL point came against the Florida Panthers, so it seems fitting that his 1000th should come against them as well. The feeling in the arena was electric from start to finish. It is a game that my sister and I will remember every second of the experience for years to come. img_0274

Sometimes hockey is pure magic and if you’re really lucky you will get to witness it just as an incredible crowd did Friday night when Henrik Sedin scored his 1000th NHL point. Heading into the game, every single person in attendance knew the possibility of what we might witness and was hoping it would be more than an assist or an empty net goal, and boy did Henrik ever choose the perfect moment to deliver his 1000th point in style with a goal versus former teammate Roberto Luongo.

Down 1-0 in the second period, cue the Sedinery play taking over and pulling 18,000 fans to their feet. Edler to Daniel to Henrik putting the puck past Luongo. Pandemonium ensued as cheers rained down as the arena made their appreciation heard loud and proud. You could not have scripted the moment ANY better (unless perhaps somehow Burrows had been on the ice). Even more heartwarming than seeing that goal right in front of our seats was seeing not just the entire team rush to the ice to take in the moment, but also the props given to Henrik from Roberto Luongo.

Welcome to 1000 points club, HANK!

In case you weren’t lucky enough to witness the moment live in all it’s glory, here it is:

Here’s a little snippet of what it felt like to be there (credit to fellow Canucks fan Clayton Imoo for capturing the following video):

Henrik wanted the point and to reach what once seemed like an impossible feat but more than that he wanted two points for his team. Isn’t that just like Henrik, that rather than be consumed by his own milestone, he put his team first? Sounds familiar doesn’t it? The Sedins while deserving of immense respect do not go out looking for recognition, they simply go out setting an example of what giving their best looks like every shift.

Once again Henrik reached this latest milestone with his brother not too far behind him in the hunt for the very same feat. Daniel Sedin with an assist is now just 32 points away from joining his brother in the 1000 points club. Will we see another Sedin milestone this season or maybe early next season? One thing is certain, whether it occurs this year or next season, Canucks fans are incredibly lucky to get to witness both milestones. img_0272

The day will come when the Sedins retire, but until that day comes, take in every moment of Sedinery that happens. Thank-you, Henrik and Daniel for 17 years and counting of incredible moments that will live long in the history of the Vancouver Canucks.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

(side note: here’s a snippet of another incredible moment captured during Henrik’s milestone night, courtesy of the Vancouver Canucks:

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The Sedins DESERVE Better.

SedineryIt is absolutely mind boggling that after more than ten years in the league, the Sedins STILL do not have the respect that they deserve from the NHL, their peers, the media or the fans. The twins are constantly breaking records, defying odds and acting as pillars in the community while never letting it show if or when the outside negativity bothers them in any way. That is until recently as they have started to stand up for themselves on the ice and show this league that they are NOT soft but fierce competitors with determination in their every stride.

Beyond the question of their toughness or their character, more recently the question has become is the league willing to protect it’s star players? The obvious answer should be yes, BUT sadly that is not always the case. This season alone has seen many players be on the receiving end of questionable elbows, knees, and hits from behind and many of those same hits go unpunished.

The latest hit in question came when Henrik Sedin was hit from behind by Grabvoski late in the first period versus the New York Islanders. Grabvoski was given a five minute major and kicked out of the game while Henrik did not return to the game. It has yet to be determined how long he will be out of the lineup. Time will tell if the NHL will add this play to their review file or whether it will even warrant a suspension as the department of player safety has yet to be consistent in their dispensing of discipline league wide.

If the player injured on the play in question was Toews, Crosby or Ovechkin, the league would not hesitate to review the play that injured a star player. So what will it take for the league to review a play that injured a Sedin? A shoulder injury as is rumoured to have sidelined Henrik or the next hit that could end his career? I guess we will find out in the next twenty-four hours or so how this situation unfolds.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

UPDATE: It appears that the NHL has once again decided to look the other way with no supplementary discipline rather than to protect one it’s players. All I can say is that I hope that it does not take a player’s career being ended due to a bad hit before the league decides to actually protect it’s players every single day no matter which name is on their jersey.

Nov-SEDINERY-ember.

The Sedins are old. The Sedins play making days are long behind them. The Sedins are on the cusp of the end of their respective careers. The Sedins should pack it in and retire or request a trade out of Vancouver. Canucks fans have heard it all. Maybe some of them even started to believe it to be true that this is the beginning of the end and maybe it is exactly that. Maybe these are the twilight years of their respective careers, but who says they have to take the decline route? The Sedins may be thirty-five but that does not mean they are finished.

Sure, November was not exactly the most memorable month for the Vancouver Canucks in the win column, BUT Sedinery had it’s mark in nearly every game. The twins put on a showcase all month long, amassing a combined thirty-five points over fourteen games.

Henrik: 6 goals, 11 assists (17 points)

Daniel: 8 goals, 10 assists (18 points)

Here’s a few examples of the artistry that was November Sedinery:

Some kind of pass from Daniel to set up Hansen:

Just when you thought the Blackhawks were going to break our hearts on home ice, the twins took over the game, scoring the first of three late insurance goals:

Game tying goal versus Torts:

Or back to the Chicago game…when Daniel notched his 900th career point as he set up his brother for the first tying goal of the game:

Nov-Sedinery-ember was fun to witness and gave rise to hope that the twins are not done yet. Thirty-five years old and they still continue to take the hockey world by surprise. They may be approaching the tail end of their careers but they are doing so in style and and adding to their one day legendary status. The day will come when the Sedins decide to hang up their skates and Canucks fans will never be the same having witnessed the entire career of two incredibly uniquely gifted players. For now, I say, let’s enjoy every moment of Sedinery that was, and is yet to be.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

 

Milestone DANNY.

I have said it many times, a hockey career can be broken down into numbers. From the number a player was or was not drafted to the goals scored or points amassed. A player’s jersey number. The number of minutes a player spends on the ice per game, or the number of penalty minutes amassed over their career. The number of playoff games a player has played in and the number of playoff points accumulated in those games. The number of teams a player has played for and the number of games a player has played over their career.

On November 23, 2014, Vancouver Canucks assistant Captain, Daniel Sedin reached a milestone among the numbers that make up an NHL career: 1000 games played.

Let’s take a closer look at the numbers that make up Daniel Sedin’s career.

(Spoiler alert: Just as with Henrik’s 1000th game milestone post: “Milestone HANK”, though this is dedicated to Daniel’s accomplishment, his brother will be mentioned a time or two as their careers go together like two peas in a pod. It is near impossible to mention one without the other.)

IMG_09821000 games played is a milestone in many an NHL career, but having played all 1000 games for ONE team is an even tougher feat to complete. Daniel Sedin has followed in the steps of his twin brother Henrik, yet AGAIN on THIS latest milestone. Welcome to the 1000 games played for ONE team club, Danny!

Sedin was drafted 2nd overall at the 1999 NHL draft right ahead of brother, Henrik by the Vancouver Canucks. His NHL debut was the start of the 2000-2001 season, on October 5, 2000 and he scored his first goal October 8, 2000. His NHL debut was delayed because him and Henrik had committed to play one more year with MODO (in the Swedish Elite League) before making their names known at an NHL level.

It was not until after the 2004-2005 lockout that fans and media fully realized the star potential that Daniel and Henrik were capable of on the ice. In the 686 games that Daniel has played in since the start of the 2005-2006 season, he has posted 674 points (250 goals, 424 assists).

Vancouver Canucks fans have been incredibly lucky to have seen both of the Sedins develop from promising rookies drafted in the first round of the 1999 NHL draft into the elite players that they have become today.

During the their 15-year journey, the twins have witnessed two lockouts and accomplished many feats. During the 2004-2005 full season lockout, they played for MODO in the Swedish Elite League. In 2006 they won Olympic Gold for Sweden, they helped lead Sweden to GOLD at the 2013 World Championship and in Sochi, Daniel picked up Olympic Silver in 2014. In 2010, Henrik won the Art Ross Trophy and in 2011, Daniel did the same. In February 2013, Henrik passed Markus Naslund’s 756 franchise points record, Daniel did the same in April of that year officially ranking them #1 & #2 in the Canucks record books. Last season saw Henrik celebrated the 1000 games played milestone, this season was Daniel’s turn. Daniel may have developed a knack for following in Henrik’s steps in the record books BUT he has more than made his own mark in NHL history.

This season marks Daniel’s 14th NHL season. In 1001 regular season games, Daniel has been assessed 424 penalty minutes and amassed 825 points (311 Goals…69 of which have been game winning goals + 514 Assists). Of his 311 goals, 112 have been scored on the power play. Impressive to say the least considering that early on despite all of his potential there was the question of whether he and his brother would have staying power in the NHL. Could they reach that elite level? It may have taken some adjusting but the twins have more than answered any lingering questions about their abilities over the last 15 years.

There are MANY moments to choose from and many more to come, but here are a few memorable Daniel Sedin moments:

From his very first NHL goal:

To some of the most ridiculous Sedinery moments like these:

Or THIS recent OT game winning goal, from what looked like a near impossible angle:

It is very rare to see ONE player, let alone TWO players TOGETHER play 1000 GAMES for the SAME team. Sedinery will NEVER go out of style. As a Canuck fan, I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to watch Daniel Sedin from early in his career to maturing into an elite player and now seeing him rediscover his Sedinery magic with Henrik this season.

A handful of brothers have played together in the NHL before but none have played their entire careers together from day one and the natural chemistry that the Sedins have. They seem to simply anticipate where the other is without even looking at times when making a play…and 95% of the time they are right. The twins have been there for nearly every milestone that the other has reached but THIS one moment just like for Henrik is Daniel’s to enjoy as his own. Unlike Henrik’s 1000th game when Daniel was out with an injury, this time BOTH twins were 100% healthy and Daniel celebrated THIS milestone with Henrik by his side.

Daniel10002It is an incredible milestone in many NHL players’ careers to reach the 1000 game mark but it is rare to see a player play 1000 games with ONE franchise, but that is exactly the case for Daniel Sedin. Just like his brother, he has played EVERY game of his career for the Vancouver Canucks. Just THREE players have suited up for 1000+ career games with the Vancouver Canucks: Trevor Linden, Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin.

Daniel1000May I ask yet AGAIN: how incredible has it been to watch Daniel’s career develop from a young rookie to the veteran leader that he has become over the last 15 years? The Sedins have had the fans and media critique them every step of the way but I ask you, Vancouver, do you realize how lucky we have been to witness the careers of these two? There will never be another pair like these two with their incredibly accurate no-look passes that turn little innocent looking plays into absolute magic not to be repeated goals.

There is NO doubt in my mind, that one day both #33 and #22 will be up in the rafters at Rogers Arena. One day, when the twins retire, it will be beyond strange, to not see the Sedins on the ice, but perhaps by then we will finally be able to fully appreciate just what these two mean to the franchise. It is not just their amazing abilities on the ice, but also the work they do off the ice with the Canucks charities and in the community that will make them irreplaceable.

Here’s to you, Daniel Sedin for 14 incredible seasons both on & off the ice. Here’s to you and Hank leading Vancouver all the way! Here’s to everything you have done in the past, the present and the future still yet to come. #DANKYOUVERYMUCH

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Canucks Re-ignited?

Yes, it’s only been two games out of eighty-two, but in these first two games, I have seen something that I never once saw last year, an absolute determination to keep pushing back when the going gets tough. Could the Sedins find their way back to a point-per-game status? So far, in two games they have combined for 8 points, add in Vrbata and that total goes up to 11 points for their line. The twins making and completing plays in a way that makes them successful instead of focusing on how to change their game is a completely refreshing concept after last year’s debacle of a season.

Game ONE saw the team open the season on the road against divisional rivals the Calgary Flames. The Canucks opened the scoring in the first period with a POWER-PLAY goal, yes one of those ever so elusive man-advantage goals that were near impossible last season from the one and only Alex Burrows. It sure was nice to see Burrows get rewarded for his hard work after being bit by the bad luck bug all last season! The question of whether or not the Sedins could find their offensive prowess was answered with the game winning goal on which vintage sedinery was on full display as they set up their newest partner in crime, Radim Vrbata. The most entertaining moment however was saved for the final minute of the game when Henrik scored an empty net goal….that was pure skill and individual effort and perhaps the best empty net goal scored that I have ever seen:

Game TWO saw the team play their first home game of the year and with it, came great expectations as the fans and players alike had anticipated all summer what could be. Would the fans support the team after the train wreck that was last season?

The anthem was sung, the puck dropped and the building was buzzing from the first minute to the last. It was a game that perhaps from the outset, no one expected it to be particularly high scoring and certainly no one saw the Canucks falling to THREE separate 2-goal deficits before coming all the way back to force overtime AND a shoot out? Let’s be honest, last year a situation that saw the team fall behind would NOT have resulted in the resilience that was shown in this game. Every time the Oilers re-gained their 2-goal lead, while there may have been panic in the eyes of the fans remembering the ghosts of last season, there was ZERO panic in the eyes of the players.

You know what they say, 2-goal leads are never safe and that rang true for Edmonton who had three 2-goal leads but could find a way to stop the resilience that Vancouver was determined to put on display led by the Sedins starting with the first Canucks goal of the night and ending with the game tying goal….and included this beauty they set up for Vrbata:

Let’s be honest, last year had the Canucks been in the situation of being in a two-goal deficit three times, let alone ONCE in one game, they would not have found a way to come back. This time, they not only came back to force a tie, they came ALL the way back to steal two points in the shootout. Ryan Miller, after a shaky start to the came closed out the game with some big saves including stopping ALL three shoot out attempts to preserve his first home ice victory in a Canucks uniform. Seems nearly divine that in the days leading up to this back and forth game that the team was practicing shoot outs right?

It may not have been the ideal game plan that the team envisioned but this game with its back and forth pace had more of a playoff feel to it than simply the second regular season game. Both teams battled for every inch of the ice and kept the fans on their toes as the ending was yet to be determined. It was nice to see the Canucks re-ignite some excitement into their on ice game and in stands.

Oh and hey remember that oh so awful power play from last season? I know it’s early to say that it’s any different…but just two games in and we have been given a glimpse of hope with the team going 3/10 on the man advantage. The passes seem crisper, the shots have increased and momentum seems to actually be gained rather than be detracted. As I said, it is no guarantee of what will be, but it gives fans something that did not exist last year; hope.

Yes, it has only been two games into the 82-game journey that make up the madness that is the NHL’s regular season, but in these two games the team has shown that they won’t go down without a fight. There is a new fire within this team and more smiles in these two games than all of last season. Will they make the post-season? It’s far too soon to tell, but whether they do or not, is up to them and how they play the remaining 80 games. The rest of the story has yet to be written.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.