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Sedins well-respected by opposing coaches, players

Vigneault, Quenneville, Toews, Lundqvist rave about soon-to-be retired Canucks forwards

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin announced they are retiring from the NHL at the end of this season on Monday.

The Sedins, 37, were selected No. 2 (Daniel) and No. 3 (Henrik) by the Canucks in the 1999 NHL Draft. They will play the Canucks' final three games of the regular season this week, at home against the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; SNP, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV), at home against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday and at the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.

The Sedins, who played all 17 seasons of their NHL careers with the Vancouver Canucks, were not just special players, they were also special people, said Alain Vigneault, who coached them from 2006-13 in Vancouver. 

 

[RELATED: Sedins to retire from NHL after 17 seasons with Canucks| Sedins retire with same class they showed in 17 seasons with Canucks]

 

"They took ownership," said Vigneault, the coach of the New York Rangers since the start of the 2013-14 season. "They took accountability. They didn't look to pass the buck to anybody and that's how they were. That was the twins. And any time they had success, and they had a lot of success, it was always everybody else. They were unreal examples to follow."

Vigneault was Canucks coach when the Sedins helped them reach the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, which they lost to the Boston Bruins in seven games.

"You talk about the ultimate accountability, everybody that ever stepped foot in that dressing room, young and old, they got to know them. Any time one young player would come in, those two guys would take him out for lunch or bring him home for supper. That's how good they were around the team."

Henrik, who has been Canucks captain since 2010-11, is their all-time leader in games played (1,327), assists (828) and points (1,068), and won the Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy in 2009-10 after having 112 points (29 goals, 83 assists) in 82 games.

Daniel is Vancouver's all-time leader in goals (391) and is second to his brother in assists (647), points (1,038) and games played (1,303). He won the Art Ross Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award in 2010-11 when he scored 104 points (41 goals, 63 assists) in 82 games.

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has had several chances to play behind the Sedins for Sweden on the international stage, which included a gold medal at the 2006 Torino Olympics.

Video: Sedin twins announce retirement after 17 seasons

"They're so humble. Humble and professional in all the stuff they do," Lundqvist said. "You always knew what to expect. They were super nice people to be around. The first time I met them I was 16. They were dominating the Swedish Elite League and me and my brother (Joel Lundqvist) got to meet them. For us, it was a big deal. They probably don't remember it, because we were just two junior players, but we were twins and they saw the connection. They were two years older, but they were doing really well in the Swedish Elite League and we were still junior players.

"Obviously as a twin, it was really cool to see and meet them. Over the years, when I got the opportunity to know them through all these tournaments and meetings, I feel they've stayed the same. They were the same type of people and you enjoyed just being on the same team as them because they are just so solid."

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Toby Enstrom, 33, grew up around the Sedins in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden and said they commanded respect on and off the ice.

"And what kind of impresses me the most is that they've always been the same, they haven't changed at all in the way they treat people," Enstrom said. "They are so respected because of that. What they've done in hockey is hard to describe in words. But most of all, it's how they are off the ice, yes private, but they treat everyone the same.

"I watched them play back home when I was young, so it's kind of a sad thing to see them leave hockey. But they are two guys that if they feel they don't have anything more to give, then (they) won't keep doing it and that's what we respect about them."

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews marveled at how consistent, and for how long, the Sedins were in the NHL.

"That's amazing," Toews said. "As young as the game is, they're still able to make incredible plays and go out there and make a difference for their team every night. It'll be a relief not to play against those guys going forward.

"I'm sure they both feel they want to go out on top and feeling like they can probably still play another handful of years, so you respect their decision, obviously. Honor them for the years that they had and obviously some of the great series we've had against them and that team as well."

Video: Joey Kenward on the impact of the Sedins' departure

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said the Sedins were always a tough matchup.

"They gave a lot of defense -- or teams -- a lot of trouble over the years with a special way of communicating on the ice with their anticipation, where the other brother was," Quenneville said. "(It) was unbelievably coordinated. How they were in sync was amazing. Their anticipation, possession, passing precision was unbelievable, as good as we've seen, so I'd say a pretty amazing career they've had.

"We had some great runs with them in the playoffs, and they're competitive every single night you saw them. But you can only wish them the best. The League has been better for these guys."

Lundqvist said that in Sweden, the Sedin brothers will be considered among the elite players of all-time.

"Even though they were in the Swedish Elite League for such a short time (1997-2000), they really left a mark with the way they play the game," Lundqvist said. "I think people were like, 'Wow, that was really cool to watch.' Then they came here and they play the same way and they could dominate games the same way. I think that's the cool part about their game, how they play the game. It really sets them apart, I think, from a lot of players."

-- NHL.com Staff Writers Dan Rosen and Tracey Myers contributed to this story

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