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Made in BC

...Daniel and Henrik take their place among the province's best

by Daniel Fung @daniel_fung / Freelance writer

Ask any athlete, particularly when they're at the height of their career, if they ever envision one day going into the Hall of Fame. The answer is usually the same: It's about the here and now, they'll say. It's about winning championships and team successes, not individual accolades years into the future.

Over the course of their respective illustrious careers, both Daniel and Henrik Sedin have fielded that question in various forms, particularly over the past decade when - seemingly in the blink of an eye - they transformed from being two good, dependable NHLers, into elite superstars that would define an era in Canucks hockey.

On Thursday evening, with the formal 2019 BC Sports Hall of Fame Induction ceremony upon them, it seemed old habits die hard.

"It means a lot, but both me and Henrik don't really think about those kinds of things," said Daniel. "We tried to do the best we could. We've been really fortunate to come to BC and Vancouver, and get a chance to play for the Canucks. It's been a great 17 years and now we're here."

Even when pressed, both chose to remain humble, quietly soaking in the experience surrounded by family, friends, former teammates and colleages.

It was apparent they had the utmost respect for the magnitude of the moment and yet, in a way, they still seemed in awe they were receiving this honour, especially so quickly. It was only a little more than a year ago they were putting on a show at Rogers Arena in the final home game of their respective careers. The way they looked that night, they could have played another five seasons and no one would have batted an eye.

Video: Daniel and Henrik Sedin's Finale - Behind-the-Scenes

"It's a little different for sure," said Henrik, the former Canucks captain. "It usually happens down the road, but it happened quickly and we're excited."

But while we knew both Daniel and Henrik would be quick to downplay their personal achievements even in light of this incredible honour, those around them had little reason to hold back when it came to showering praise on Daniel and Henrik.

"Another honour for guys who deserve it more than anybody that we know," said former Canucks play-by-play broadcaster Jim Robson, an inductee of the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. "They're first-class citizens, terrific hockey players, great people. We're very fortunate to have them in our city."

Those sentiments were echoed by another BC Sports Hall of Famer with a connection to the Canucks, Darcy Rota.

"They've been great ambassadors both on and off the ice," said Rota, a 2002 inductee. "It just shows the respect that both Daniel and Henrik have in society because of all the work they do not just on the ice, but off the ice."

Thursday's BC Sports Hall of Fame Induction ceremony was just the latest, but certainly won't be the last, reminder of what Daniel and Henrik did for BC's sports community. It transcended beyond just compiling points and winning games with the Canucks, though they did plenty of that over the course of 17 seasons.

The BC Sports Hall of Fame honours those who have made extraordinary achievements in sport. The Sedins' respective resumés are filled with accomplishments that fit that bill.

Though a Stanley Cup championship eluded them, there have been other major team successes including gold medals at the Olympic Games and on the world stage, together with countless individual awards from the NHL including a shared King Clancy Award, an Art Ross Trophy victory for each, a Ted Lindsay Award for Daniel, and a Hart Trophy for Henrik. Each also received a Golden Puck, a Viking Award, and a Victoria Scholarship from their native Sweden.

Video: VGK@VAN: Sedins receive postgame ovation, shake hands

"They're two of the greatest of their era," said Ken Holland, the long-time Detroit Red Wings GM and current Oilers GM, who is also part of this year's 2019 induction class. "As a manager from an opposing team, they made you nervous. Great players. Great fierce competitors."

But those were just on-ice successes. Their impact on the sport of hockey, and the fortunes of the franchise they would be synonymous with, goes far beyond that.

They ushered the team's meteoric rise back to the top of the sports scene in the province, restoring faith and hope in a franchise that had lost much of its luster prior to their arrival.

They made it fashionable and trendy to be a Canucks fan again. They presided over the team's most successful and longest sustained run of success on the ice - a run that included two Presidents' Trophy wins, a Western Conference championship and numerous division titles.

They made the Canucks matter not only in Vancouver, but across the province, across North America and, even, across the world.

On Thursday night, the Sedins stood shoulder-to-shoulder among others who have achieved similar extraordinary achievements in their respective sporting field and who also represented British Columbia to the best of their ability.

Video: Daniel and Henrik Sedin Mic'd Up For Final Home Game

"It's a provincial Hall of Fame and I've always felt like when you play in Vancouver, it's BC's team," said Henrik. "That's special."

"[Being here] with all the athletes that have been inducted before us, it's a great honour," added Daniel. "For us to grow up in Sweden and get inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame, it means a lot."

There was no place more appropriate in the world to be for Daniel and Henrik Sedin on this night.

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