(Photo credit: s. yume)
In 1999, Brian Burke swung incredible deals for the ability to draft the twin forwards Henrik and Daniel Sedin with the second and third overall pick to change the course of Vancouver Canucks history. Since then the two players have helped to create one of the NHL’s best teams that have done everything but win the Stanley Cup.
The two had a chemistry that was telepathic, helping lead both players over the 1000 point mark in their careers. Better yet, Daniel and Henrik are the first set of brothers in NHL history to achieve over 1000 points each - we are unlikely to see a more dynamic duo ever again.
Vancouver could view this era as one in which they failed to meet expectations as they won their division five years in a row when the Sedin's were at the peak of their powers between 2009 and 2013.
From 2009 to 2011 the Sedin's were at their dominant best and combined for 559 points - while the team picked up two President's Trophies.
Between them the twins secured two Art Ross trophies, one Hart trophy, one Ted Lindsay award and one King Clancy trophy - and are sure-fire Hall of Famers. They also have the franchise records for goals, assists, game winning goals, power play goals and overtime goals.
The team infamously lost to Boston in the final of the 2011 Stanley Cup final 4-3 and saw the Bruins lift the cup on their own ice. That season the team were the league's best in all categories including points, goals and goals against.
Ultimately, though the Sedin's need to be remembered as the two greatest players not only in Vancouver Canucks franchise history but also in the history of the NHL - and they had this to say to their fans:
“We started the year with the mindset that a decision would be made in the postseason. But it became clear, after discussions with our families throughout the year, that this will be our last season. This feels right for all of us.
Being part of the Canucks family for 18 seasons has been the best period of our lives. But it's time to focus on our families and life after hockey. It's time to help with homework every night. It's time to be at every birthday party and to stand in the cold at every hockey rink, soccer game and riding lesson on weekends. It's time to be at home for dinner every night."
End of an era
While Canucks fans will be disappointed to see two franchise staples leave the club - this retirement signals the start of a new era in Vancouver in which the teams younger players can flourish. The Sedin's recognized this and said:
"It's time to let the next generation of young players lead the Canucks. Travis is building a strong culture and emphasizes a style of play we know will be successful. The team is in great hands, with people who care about its success and it's headed in the right direction. We know there is a bright future for the Canucks."
So while it will be odd not seeing either Sedin in a Canucks jersey next season, the two players feel that now is the time to pass the torch onto the next generation.