If Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin decide to play beyond next season, it won’t be for anyone else other than the Vancouver Canucks.
The twins are enduring their least productive season since the 2004 lockout. Prior to the start of next season they’ll turn 37 and enter the final year on their current contracts.
That is to say there are question marks surrounding what lies ahead.
“If they see a future for us, then we might have another year in us here after next year,” Henrik told Craig Morgan of FanRag Sports. “If not, I don’t think we’re prepared to go anywhere else…Our future is not only up to us now. We know that the management needs to see a place for us in this rebuild. It’s not always in their interest to have guys like us around. Maybe you need a change of personality and all those kinds of things.”
If the Canucks struggle next season like they have this year, would general manager Jim Benning would ask the twins to waive their no-trade clauses? The brothers have full no-movement clauses and the likelihood they’d waive them next season appears slim.
“We’ve never really been in this position before, but we’re up there now, age-wise,” Daniel said. “For us, it’s all about if the team is going in the right direction and if you see there’s a place for us on the team. If we’re healthy and if management wants us to be a part of the future, we can see ourselves playing more years but for us, it’s Vancouver or nothing. We’re not going to go anywhere else to play.”
If Canucks brass decides to hand the reins to the Bo Horvats and Brock Boesers of the world in 2018 and end the Sedin era in Vancouver, don’t expect to see the Swedish duo try their luck overseas.
“It’s not a league where you can go back and think you’re going to dominate,” Daniel said of the Swedish Hockey League where both forwards have spent time with the Modo franchise. “It’s not like you can go back and play on the decline. You’ve got to be at the top of your game. You have to prepare the same way. It’s a tough league.”
Daniel and Henrik have spent their entire NHL careers with the Canucks after being selected second and third overall, respectively, in the 1999 NHL Draft. Henrik has 1,018 points in 1,246 games and Daniel has 984 in 1,223 games and their unique on-ice chemistry has been one of the more entertaining and dominant dynamics to watch in the NHL for more than a decade.
There aren’t many people in hockey with a better understanding of the Sedins than their former Canucks teammate and current president of hockey operations, Trevor Linden.
“I got to play with them, recognized very quickly that these guys are so competitive, tough guys, play in traffic, and I’ve been able to watch them win Hart Trophies and Art Ross Trophies and become leaders,” Linden told Sportsnet prior to the season. “I think the special thing about them is I don’t think there’s any combination in the league that has innate ability to find one another and play that style…I don’t think the league has ever seen anything like this before and we’ll probably go a long time before we see anything like this again.
“As people, I can’t say enough about them as humans and leaders. I’ve got a ton of respect for them, as you can tell, and this is coming from having played with them and now having worked with them on this side.”
The Canucks close out the 2016-17 season with a home-and-home series against the Edmonton Oilers on the weekend.