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Sedins plan to finish career with Canucks

Forwards write letter to fans in The Players' Tribune, each in final year of contract

by Kevin Woodley / Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin plan to finish their career with the Vancouver Canucks.

The identical twins, each in the final season of his contract, wrote a letter to Vancouver fans in The Players' Tribune last week saying they won't play anywhere else.

In preparation for their 17th season with the Canucks, Daniel said they wanted to make it clear they don't plan on leaving, even if it means passing on a chance to win the Stanley Cup. Daniel and Henrik turn 37 on Sept. 26.

"It was a way of telling the city and fans how we feel about the city and that we want to stay and end our careers here," Daniel said Monday at the Jake Milford Charity Invitational golf tournament. "It was a good way of doing it before the season, getting it out of the way and focus on hockey."

With the Sedins each entering the final season of a four-year, $28 million contract, general manager Jim Benning already said he would not ask the top two scorers in Canucks history to consider a move prior to the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline.

"They are not going anywhere," president and former teammate Trevor Linden said Monday. "This is home for them. They have meant too much to this team, too much to this community, and they are going to finish as Canucks."

Tweet from @PlayersTribune: The Sedin brothers have a message for Vancouver.

Henrik wanted to let people know the feeling was mutual.

"We saw it as a chance to just get it out there, how we feel about the city, the team and about the decisions that are going to be made moving forward," he said. "We know there are still going to be questions asked, but at least now people know where we come from and how we think about things, so that's going to make it easier for us and for the people around us."

Those questions will include balancing the need to get younger with the desire to re-sign two players closer to the end of their career, but Linden said he doesn't foresee a problem.

"When you think about the way they approach the game, the professionalism they show on a day-to-day basis, it's just a good thing for our players to be around," Linden said.

If the reaction of younger teammates to the Sedins' declaration is any indication, Daniel and Henrik can have a positive impact on and off the ice.

"They have done so much for this organization in the past 16 years," said 22-year-old center Bo Horvat, who signed a six-year, $33-million contract on Sept. 8. "So to hear that as a young guy and for the rest of the team, it means they have their heart and soul here, they want to stay here, they want to win here, and it makes you want to push that much harder to help them do that."

Video: Discussing the Sedins wanting to stay in Vancouver

Selected with the No. 2 and No. 3 picks in the 1999 NHL Draft, the natives of Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, lead the Canucks in games (Henrik 1,248; Daniel 1,225), points (Henrik 1,020; Daniel 986) and assists (Henrik 783; Daniel 616), and Daniel is first with 370 goals. Henrik won the Art Ross Trophy as the top scorer in the NHL and the Hart Trophy as League MVP in 2009-10 when he had 112 points (29 goals, 83 assists). Daniel won the Art Ross Trophy in 2010-11 when he had 104 points (41 goals, 63 assists), and together they helped the Canucks to Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final before losing to the Boston Bruins.

But the Canucks have missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs the past two seasons and three of the past four, and the Sedins are coming off their lowest point totals in more than a decade. Henrik had 50 points (15 goals, 35 assists) in 82 games. Daniel had 44 points (15 goals, 29 assists) in 82 games.

Whether the Sedins can turn it around this season for first-year coach Travis Green will factor into their decision about next season.

"Last year, we weren't good enough," Daniel said. "We are not going to play for the sake of playing. We want to be good players and help this team, and if that means we are going to be second or third line players, we can do that. But we still want to feel like we can play in this league."

Along with that and family, the Canucks' performance will play a role in the decision.

"See where the team is and how big of a step we take this year as a team is another thing," Henrik said.

If the Sedins do choose to return, Daniel said they would take it year by year and sign one-year contracts. Henrik agreed they would wait until the offseason before making any decisions.

"Our goal and our belief is we can be good players again," Daniel said. "Hopefully we can force the Canucks that they want to re-sign us. Play as good as you can and we'll see what happens."

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