Henrik Sedin is the Canucks nominee For the Bill Masterton Trophy. It is voted on by the professional hockey writers association and goes to the “player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
I have talked to a few of the writers and they are trying to get away from the thought that it’s a comeback award. Last year’s recipient was Dominic Moore. It was great to see him back after he took a year off following the tragic death of his wife. The year before the award was given to Josh Harding who dealt with a major illness and still posted the best goals against of his career. Max Pacioretty won in 2012 after coming back from a serious injury after Zdeno Chara ran him into a partition.
Henrik Sedin is the nominee, but he and his brother Daniel embody the true spirit of this award.
There are only two players who have played every game for the Canucks this year. Take a guess who they are. Henrik Sedin has played 82 games in 9 of his 13 years. It looks like he is going to make it 10 of 14. In one of those other years he played only 48; but wait that was the lockout year and there were only 48 games.
Daniel is the slacker of the two. He missed a grand total of 14 games in his first eight years. He missed 19 games in 2009-2010 and still put up 85 points. Maybe Daniel should have won the Masterton the next year in conjunction with the Art Ross he received for scoring 104 points. The year Daniel was hurt people said Henrik’s totals would suffer. He won the Art Ross with 112 points and the Hart for being the league’s Most Valuable player.
Do you think it was easy for the twins the first few years when they were being mocked by certain media outlets and being referred to as the sisters?
It would have been easy to take a few games off here and there to heal the bumps and bruises that go along with any NHL season. It would have been easy to complain about the 13 minutes of ice time they were averaging their first four years. It would have been easy to wonder if they would ever get a permanent, talented winger to be their linemate.
I am taking nothing away from Trent Klatt, or Anson Carter or even Harold Druken, but it was not until Alex Burrows came along and now Radim Vrbata that they had someone they could count on to score when they got them the puck. I have often wondered why the Sedins do not get treated like the stars they truly are. After Markus Naslund, there were some fans and even a few hockey people who though Ryan Kesler should be named captain. Henrik was too calm, too reserved, did not show enough emotion. It almost made me sick to think that people viewed Henrik’s calm, stable confidence as a weakness.
He leads by example. Every training camp, who are the top conditioned players? Henrik and Daniel. Who set the example for the players being involved in the community? Henrik and Daniel. Who are leading the team in scoring again? Henrik and Daniel.
In our pre-season predictions this year my friends in Toronto looked at the year the Canucks had last season and said they had no chance this year. They had a rookie coach, questions in goal and their core players were getting old. They said look at their stats. Henrik and Daniel combined scored 97 points. They did not value enough the pride and dedication of these players. Those of us close to the team knew with Trevor Linden and Jim Benning in charge and a coach who was willing to listen to his players, the Sedins would be back.
They best exemplify the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey that with their talent produces winners.