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Sedins to retire with same class they showed in 17 seasons with Canucks

Daniel, Henrik will be missed by Vancouver, NHL, but not forgotten

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / Columnist

Quietly. Humbly. With class.

Daniel and Henrik Sedin announced their retirement from the NHL on Monday the way they carried themselves for 17 seasons as forwards with the Vancouver Canucks.

They posted a letter to Canucks fans on the team website. They spoke from the heart, together.

After discussions with their families, it became clear this would be their last season. It was time for the 37-year-old twins to focus on homework and birthday parties and kids' activities and family dinners, on life after hockey.

They decided to break the news now because the Canucks did not make the Stanley Cup Playoffs and will finish the season at home against the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; SNP, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV) and Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, then at the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.


[RELATED: Sedins to retire from NHL after 17 seasons with Canucks]


"We want to share these final three games with you," they wrote. "We also want to share these games with our families, friends, teammates, coaches, trainers, staff and everyone at the Canucks who have supported us. You've all been with us every step of the way, and we want to thank you."

Needless to say, their supporters will want to thank them too. The Sedins and their supporters deserve the chance to say goodbye, even though this is goodbye only in terms of their playing careers.

"Vancouver has become home," they wrote. "This is our family's home. We plan to be part of this community long after we retire. Vancouver has given us so much and we've tried to give everything we have in return. That won't change."

The Sedins hold a special place in Canucks, and NHL, history.

The Canucks selected Daniel No. 2 and Henrik No. 3 in the 1999 NHL Draft after deft maneuvering by Brian Burke, then the general manager. They came to North America from Sweden together in 2000-01.

Henrik won the Art Ross Trophy as scoring champion and the Hart Trophy as most valuable player in 2009-10. Daniel won the Art Ross and was runner-up for the Hart the next season.

Henrik reached 1,000 points last season; Daniel did it this season. Never before had two brothers reached 1,000 points each, let alone two on the same team at the same time, let alone identical twins on the same line most of the time.

Video: COL@VAN: H. Sedin feeds D. Sedin in front for PPG

The differences were subtle -- Henrik more of a playmaker at center, Daniel more of a finisher on the wing. In the Canucks record book, Henrik is No. 1 in games played (1,327), assists (828) and points (1,068). Daniel is No. 2 in games played (1,303), assists (647) and points (1,038). Daniel is No. 1 in goals (391); Henrik is seventh (240).

No, they never won the Stanley Cup, coming oh-so-close when the Canucks lost Games 6 and 7 of the 2011 Final to the Boston Bruins. But it says everything about them and their connection to the community that, when it became clear the Canucks were no longer contenders late in their careers, they didn't leave to chase it elsewhere.

Asked why earlier this season, this is what they said:

Daniel: "This city means so much to us, and we know back in the day management, coaches believed in us, even though it would have been so easy to trade us away and get rid of us because we weren't playing up to what everyone believed we could do. That meant a lot to us."

Henrik: "Just for us to be here for this long and then leave for a month and a half or two months and maybe get a chance of winning it, it would have been great, but it would not be the same as winning it for the Canucks. To be a part of something that you built up for a lot of years …  for us it would not be the same."

The Canucks will not be the same without them. There have been no finer representatives of their team, their city, their league and the game.

Video: VAN@CHI: Sedin brothers connect to open scoring

A little story: In September, the Canucks played the Los Angeles Kings in preseason games in Shanghai and Beijing, the NHL's first foray into China. In a press conference, a foreign reporter asked them about the grueling travel and the inconveniences before the start of the regular season.

Henrik didn't bite. He said they had nothing to complain about -- that they had first-class air travel and hotel accommodations, that this was a great experience. It was clear he wasn't saying the right thing because he was supposed to. He was saying the right thing because it was what he believed. The right thing is what the Sedins do.

Look at how they closed their letter:

"In the meantime, we still have some games to play, and we still have some work to do," they wrote.

Soak them up.

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