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Sedins set to be honored by Canucks

Henrik, Daniel will have numbers retired by Vancouver as part of weeklong celebration

by Kevin Woodley / Independent Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Daniel and Henrik Sedin will have their careers celebrated by the Vancouver Canucks in the only way possible: side by side.

That's how the twins, who are 39 now, spent their 17 seasons with the Canucks after being selected with the second and third picks in the 1999 NHL Draft.

That's how their lockers were set up in the Canucks' new Legends Locker Room interactive display inside Rogers Arena that was unveiled Monday to begin a weeklong celebration of the Sedins. And that's how their numbers -- No. 22 for Daniel and No. 33 for Henrik -- will be raised to the rafters and retired as part of a pregame ceremony on Wednesday, a first for brothers in the NHL.

It's hard to imagine the Sedins any other way, even if they couldn't imagine it early on.

"We never thought about it," Henrik said Monday. "What twins came up and played in the NHL? And were drafted by the same team? And won scoring titles a year apart? For us, it's just natural."

The Sedins retired following the 2017-18 season atop the Canucks' record book.

Henrik, a center, is the Canucks' all-time leader in games played (1,330), points (1,070) and assists (830); Daniel, a forward, is first in goals (393), second in games played (1,306), assists (648) and points (1,041). They are the only brothers in NHL history to score at least 1,000 points each.

"I don't think I would have been here without him," Henrik said. "He pushed me. It's tough to train at a level where you get to the NHL, but to have a guy at the same level in everything, doesn't matter if it's bench press or biking, we we're so even. Every day in the summer, he pushed me to be my best and I pushed him."

Video: Budweiser Canada lifts Sedin numbers around Vancouver

They dominated on the ice with their unique ability to find each other on the cycle, creating plays other teams have since copied. Henrik won the Hart Trophy as the NHL MVP and Art Ross Trophy as leading scorer in 2009-10 with 112 points (29 goals, 83 assists); Daniel won the Art Ross Trophy with 104 points (41 goals, 63 assists) in 2011. But they weren't always sure they'd get to stay together, especially during early struggles.

"When things were tough early on, would they trade us? Would they trade us together or one player goes here on the other goes there?" Daniel said. "Who knows? We've been fortunate. People believed in us, even when they maybe should not have believed in us, but they saw something in us and that's something we'll be grateful for."

Most of those people will be back for the celebration, starting with a Legends Night ceremony Monday before the Canucks play the Nashville Predators at Rogers Arena (10 p.m. ET; SNP, FS-N, NHL.TV). Three of the four players whose numbers have been retired by the Canucks will attend; Pavel Bure (No. 10) couldn't make it, but Markus Naslund (19), Stan Smyl (12) and Trevor Linden (16) will all be honored. All three played a big role in the their careers, either as teammates, in management, or both.

Dozens of former teammates, including goalie Roberto Luongo, are expected for the jersey retirement before the game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday, and the Sedins have hundreds more coming from their home country of Sweden.

"That's everything to us," Daniel said. "We always realized we would not be the players or people we were without the surrounding cast and friends we made playing this game, so it should be a celebration of those people too."

The week concludes with a third ceremony before the Canucks' game on Sunday to celebrate their contributions in the community, which included a $1.5 million donation to help build a new BC Children's Hospital in 2010.

"They touched the community in so many ways, changing lives and inspiring so many," said Predators defenseman Dan Hamhuis, who played six seasons with the Sedins. "Their humility, how they treat people, their involvement in the community, the Canucks and city are very lucky to have two guys that represented them so well all these years."

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