VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Emotions ran high at Rogers Arena as the Canucks retired the jersey numbers of Daniel and Henrik Sedin during a special ceremony ahead of Wednesday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks.
For many, it was a night to remember the two titans of Vancouver hockey who amazed fans for more than a decade.
“In front of all of our eyes we’ve seen boys become men, men become leaders and leaders become legends,” said Sportsnet commentator John Shorthouse who also hosted the night’s event.
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) February 13, 2020
Daniel and Henrik also took the time to speak to the crowded stadium and thanked their fans for support and said the jersey honour humbled them.
“It wasn’t easy leaving our small town and moving to a big city halfway around the world, but what a city we came to,” Daniel said.
According to Daniel, times were tough at the beginning of their careers as expectations they had for themselves and expectations made by others surrounded them.
Although Daniel added, “it obviously helped going through this with having your brother by your side, but it would not have been possible without the amazing teammates and coaches.”
Laughs and memories
A long list of former players attended the ceremony including, Stan Smyl, Trevor Linden, Alex Burrows, Kevin Bieksa, Ryan Kesler and Roberto Luongo, to name a few.
Former teammate Bieksa took to the mic to share some of his fondest memories of the twins. In true jokester fashion, he drew laughs from the crowd with his speech.
“Part of the reason that they always knew where the other was on the ice is because they wore an earpiece, and they talked to each other and they told each other when they were open,” he said to cheers and chuckles. “And I approached them the one time and I said, ‘What is that?’ And they said, ‘We have a word in Sweden that we used to explain it. What was it again? Oh yea, cheating!”
But Bieksa’s speech wasn’t all about making the crowd laugh or remembering the more comical aspects of the team.
He touched on the extensive philanthropic work the Sedins did during their time with the team and after, as well as the work their family continues to do for the community.
“That’s been absorbed by everyone around them and there’s a Sedin culture to this organization and it’s been absorbed by guys like Alex Edler, Chris Tanev, Jacob Markstrom, and our new captain Bo,” Bieksa said, adding the culture continues to be passed on. “And in 20 years, there will still be a Sedin flavour to this organization and a Sedin culture in that dressing room, and that is something that will transcend any on-ice statistics that they have.”
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) February 13, 2020
Meanwhile, a large banner was left outside the arena for fans to write messages of memories and thanks to the twins.
— Jonathan Szekeres (@jonszekeres) February 13, 2020
During their 18 years in the NHL, Daniel and Henrik earned a combined 2,111 points in 2,636 games, all for the Canucks.
The retired players were born six minutes apart on Sept. 26, 1980 and in the NHL never seemed to be that far apart in any sense.
Now, nearly two years since they retired as the leading scorers and greatest players in Canucks history, the identical twins are running more than ever – usually six times a week, for a total of about 100 kilometres, on runs as long as 30 clicks.
-With files from Jonathan Szekeres, Sonia Aslam, Nikitha Martins and Hana Mae Nassar