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Henrik Sedin focused on helping Canucks improve this season

Captain, twin brother Daniel taking it 'year by year now'

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

STOCKHOLM -- Vancouver Canucks captain Henrik Sedin said Thursday that the only hockey future he's focused on is this season.

Sedin and twin brother Daniel will be 37 when the Canucks begin the regular season at home against the Edmonton Oilers on Oct. 7. Declining production has led to considerable speculation that they aren't far from retirement.

"We think about our future on a regular basis, and we've said we're going to take it year by year now," Henrik Sedin said at the European Player Media Tour. "This year, we want to prove we can still play at a high level, and that's up to us to do. And we know that if we do, it'll be easier to answer those questions later in the year. So that's our mindset."

The twins have been a package deal for most of their lives, including when they were drafted by Vancouver with the No. 2 (Daniel) and No. 3 (Henrik) picks of the 1999 NHL Draft.

This season will be the Sedins' 17th in the League, all with the Canucks. Each is entering the fourth season of a four-year, $28 million contract (average annual value of $7 million).

Henrik Sedin had 50 points (15 goals, 35 assists) in 82 games last season. The 35 assists were his fewest in a full NHL season since he had 31 in 2003-04. When he won the Hart Trophy as League MVP and the Art Ross Trophy as scoring champion in 2009-10, he had 112 points (29 goals, 83 assists).

Daniel Sedin had 44 points (15 goals, 29 assists) in 82 games last season, his lowest total since 2002-03, when he had 31 in 79 games. He was the NHL scoring leader with 104 points (41 goals, 63 points) in 2010-11.

Henrik Sedin said Thursday his only priority is helping the Canucks move up in the standings and compete for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season.

A poor finish last season (2-13-2 in their last 17 games) left the Canucks with 69 points (30-43-9) and in last place in the Pacific Division.

"We thought we should have been further up the standings than we were for the way we played most of the time," Henrik said. "We had some injuries that were tough to go through, but if we can stay healthy … if you look at our lineup from top to bottom, it's not that far off.

"But we can't go through stretches with key players injured, not like other teams can do. We're thinner that way, but our young guys are getting better. For me and Daniel, it's just about being as good as we can. I think we should be able to fight for a playoff spot. That's our goal."

Henrik said he is looking forward to the 2017 NHL China Games presented by O.R.G. Packaging. The Canucks will play preseason games against the Los Angeles Kings in Shanghai on Sept. 21 and in Beijing on Sept. 23.

"I've never been there before, so it's going to be great," Sedin said. "We'll play the games, but I think the best part is going to see a different country and experience what that is about."

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