British Columbia

Such Swede sorrow: Vancouver bids goodbye to the Sedin twins

Vancouver Canucks forwards Henrik and Daniel Sedin have announced that this will be their last NHL season.

Henrik and Daniel have announced their retirement at the end of this NHL season

19-year-old Daniel, left, and Henrik Sedin pose in their new Vancouver Canucks jerseys ahead of their first NHL season in June 2000. (Chuck Stoody/The Canadian Press)

It's a special feat when a sportsperson can elicit almost unanimous respect from the hockey world, but the Sedin twins were able to do that following the announcement they will retire at the end of this season.

Fans and commentators took to social media to bid a fond farewell to the inseparable Swedish hockey players.

The duo played all 18 years of their respective NHL careers together with the Vancouver Canucks, a rare accomplishment in the league.

"We were lucky to be drafted the both of us," Daniel Sedin said in a joint press conference Monday.

"Throughout the years it's always been the two of us. We came in as teammates and we should leave as teammates. That's never been a question."

Both players have more than 1,000 career NHL points — 1,068 for Henrik and 1,038 for Daniel — and came excruciatingly close to winning a Stanley Cup with the Canucks in 2011, losing to the Boston Bruins on home ice in Game 7.

"We had a lot of good teams throughout the years, but that team was special," Daniel said. "That's one thing I'll remember for sure. It's probably the highlight of my career but also the lowest point of my career."

Community ties

The brothers' deeper legacy was the indelible mark they made on the community.

They were proud to call Vancouver home, and volunteered extensively around B.C.'s Lower Mainland with the Sedin Family Foundation, which they created in 2014.

In 2010, the stars donated $1.5 million to help build the new B.C. Children's Hospital with whom they developed a long-standing relationship.

"When you go there, you see the kids and how happy they are and you meet their families, you realize that hockey is just a game," Daniel said.

"People can think what they want about us on the ice. It's always going to be different opinions," Henrik said. 

"The least you can do is come in and treat people like they should be treated with a smile on your face. That's what we try to do."

Henrik Sedin laughs with children during a Vancouver Canucks team visit to the B.C. Children's Hospital in January 2018. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

The brothers said they would continue to live in Vancouver for the foreseeable future.

"It'll be our home. We'll take it year by year. Our families really enjoy it here, and our kids really love it here," Daniel said.

"We'll move back [to Sweden] probably one day, but right now we're staying."

A bright future

The two stars — who have been the face of the Canucks franchise for the past decade — intend to remain modest until the very end.

The Canucks have three games left in the season, with the Sedins' last game on Saturday in Edmonton against the Oilers.

"Treat us the same way [for the last three games]. This is us getting a chance to thank the fans," Daniel said.

"Don't treat us like a goodbye season," Henrik added.

There is one silver lining.

After three particularly bad seasons the Canucks have a chance at renewal, with little option but to focus on a younger core.

"It's a good group in there — good kids — and it's been fun to be around there," Henrik said.

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