The 37-year-old captain said he and his brother Daniel will try to accommodate management’s request to know by the Feb. 26 trade deadline whether the Sedins will return next fall for their 18th seasons with the Canucks.
But Henrik Sedin, speaking to a crush of reporters ahead of tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Kings, said the best the brothers can probably do is give general manager Jim Benning an indication of their intentions and not a firm promise to play or not.
"I think you can maybe lean a certain way," Henrik said. "More than that, it’s tough. If we have an idea, we’ll be up front with the people that need to know."
Since they began this final season of their four-year, $28-million contracts, the Sedins had said they would decide on next season when this one ends.
But with trade-deadline decisions to make that will affect next year’s roster, Benning last week asked the Sedins’ agent, J.P. Barry, if the twins could provide an indication of their intent before Feb. 26.
The Sedins have always said they’d like to keep playing as long as they’re productive and feel the Canucks have meaningful roles for them during the organization’s rebuild.
Even with an unprecedented number of offensive prospects playing their way towards the NHL, the Canucks are far from having nine forwards better than the Sedins. Both are among the Canucks’ top four in scoring this season, Henrik with 32 points in 47 games and Daniel with 30 in 46.
But since rookie coach Travis Green bestowed more ice time on the Sedins during an injury avalanche that began two months ago, the Swedes have scored nearly a point per game. Their even-strength shots-for percentages also lead the Canucks.
"On the ice, for the most part, it has felt really good this year," Henrik said. "I feel like we can play in this league and put up points. That’s all we wanted to know before the season."
Then what else will go into the Sedins’ decision about next year?
"There’s family, there’s how we feel physically and mentally," he said. "There’s a lot of different things."
"We’re seeing them play pretty good hockey," Green said after Tuesday’s morning skate. "I’m not surprised. These guys, first of all, are great ambassadors for the game and they have been for a long time. They’re having a very good season for themselves. They’ve put up some points for us when we’ve really needed them. And they’re great to work with.
"We don’t know what they’re going to do next year. That will play itself out. I don’t need to sit here today and say: ‘What if this happens, what if that happens?’ They’ve been great to work with so far. I know the way they’re going to be the rest of the season, and we’ll see where it takes us."
Henrik reiterated that the Sedins are likely to stay in Vancouver after they retire but, of course, doesn’t know when that will be.
Asked about getting into coaching, he smiled and said: "I’m still a player. That’s way down the line."
He said if he and his brother decide to play another season, contracts and salaries won’t be an issue.
"I’m not going to pay to play," he said. "It’s going to be a fair deal either way. You might say he signed for a little bit too much or a little bit too less. But it never is a major thing with money. It never has been for us, anyway.
"I don’t know if (the decision) is going to be easy, but I think we’re going to feel what we want to do. We’re both guys that when we make a decision, that’s just the way it is. You’ve got to live with it."