The Interview: Daniel & Henrik Sedin

Photo: Marcus Eriksson

Do you have pets?
Henrik Dog and a cat. And I have two miniature horses at home. [Puts his hand out to indicate they’re little.] Yeah, two. Moose and Lilly. Of course. Who doesn’t?

Wow, where do they live?
H At home in Vancouver.
Daniel I should probably leave, right? You guys are talking about miniature horses?

Henrik, are you lying?
H No, I’m not. What a good start to this interview. [Laughs.]

Are you tired of talking about being twins?
D Ah, no. I think you get used to it. Depends on the question, too.

What twin questions are you sick of answering?
H Who’s oldest? How can I tell you apart? Who’s better? Yeah, that’s it.

That’s funny. I can tell you guys apart. Henrik’s older, by six minutes. And an inch taller. And part of your pinky was amputated.
D This is really creepy that you know that.
H [Laughs.]

Henrik, do you ever use any of that against Daniel? You’re wiser, taller.
H No.
D We have two older brothers as well. We’re both the youngest brothers.
H It was more us against them. But no, no beating in our family.

When you were in school I heard your teachers couldn’t tell you apart.
H It took them some time, but I think they finally got it.
D When they talked about us, I don’t think they’d say Daniel and Henrik. They would just say “The Twins.” But I think you’re right, if you want to learn [to] tell us apart, that’s easy. By not trying, that’s kind of, I don’t know—I wouldn’t say it’s no respect, but if you want to learn, you can learn.

True. But you guys could help out. One of you could grow your hair, or have different facial hair.
D For sure. Which is why we don’t really get upset.

Did you consider growing a ponytail?
D I don’t think that would look very good. You think so?

Which teammate has the most trouble distinguishing you two?
H I’m gonna say one of the new guys. Every year there’s a couple guys who get traded to us, or we sign. I don’t know who it is this year.
D Zack Kassian.
H I think he might know now.
D Yeah, but it’s been a year and a half.

Do you ever mess with your teammates?
D No, we’ve never done that to anyone. Except you. [Laughs.]
H We don’t tell them if they’re wrong, so that might be messing if you ask them. But I wouldn’t pretend to be Daniel.

Did you ever take each other’s tests in school?
H Never.

What? That’s the No. 1 thing to do if you’re a twin.
D We’re nice guys. Honest.

Do your kids ever mix you up?
H Yeah. They would walk up to the wrong guy, and then as soon as they get to us, they look at our face and they’re like, “Oh no, this is wrong.” We’ve done a few tests. We walk in and then we walk out and switch shirts. And then we’ll walk in again. OK, they’re good. They know.

There’s a real fascination with you two, being twins and really good hockey players. That must be weird.
H I think people wonder why we always play on the same line, on the same team, or spend a lot of time together. I think people like that, but they might think it’s a little weird.

Why do you spend so much time together?
H Because our coaches want us to play together.

Henrik, you once said, “It’s like we have one brain.”
H Off the ice it’s maybe not like that. But on the ice, I don’t think it’s because we’re twins, but we played together for so long. I think if you put me with anyone else and we played on the same line for 20 years, we’re going to think hockey the same way. A lot of times I’m gonna know where that guy is. I don’t think it’s because we’re twins. I really don’t think so.

It doesn’t help a little?
D I think—
H I think…

He cut you off!
D Yeah, I can’t say anything.
H You’re fine. I think because we’re from the same upbringing, played on the same team, [had] the same coaches, we think hockey the same way. But it could be another friend of mine too, back in the day, if he was a good hockey player and they put him on my line, we would have been the same.

Who has the best chemistry of any duo in the NHL?
D Many have the same as we do.
H I think if you put two good players together, if you put Crosby and Malkin—I’m not gonna compare us to those guys. Toews, Kane.

Daniel, do you let him do most of the talking?
D No. I don’t know. He seems happy to talk. We agree on most things.

What do you disagree on?
D Sleeping.
H [Laughs.]

I’ve heard about that. Henrik likes to wake up early.
D He likes to wake up early, then go back to sleep. I don’t get that. Snooze button—awful. Why do you do that?
H Best invention ever.
D Never. Get out of bed right away.

Did you dress the same when you were little?
D No.
H We wore the same kind of clothing, but never exactly the same.

You have similar style.
D Yeah, I would say so.

Have you ever come back from shopping, independently, with the same sweater?
H There’s been maybe one or two occasions where we bought the same stuff on totally different days or weeks, and we happen to wear the same shirts the same day to work. Same sweater. Hopefully we have a T-shirt on underneath.

How many points do you have this season?
D We have 24 each. [As of press, Henrik had 35, Daniel had 36.]

How do you guys do that? It’s ridiculous.
D It’s kinda good for the story, right?

Your career points per game is really close, too.
H Maybe.
D Same line.

But there are useless players on lines.
D I see us [each] being as good as the other one. If you put two players who are equally good, they’re going to have the same points total, right?

But you play very different games.
H I think that’s wrong. And you’re not the only one who thinks we play different games. He’s as much of a set-up guy as I am, but he’s put in a position to score. He needs to score more than I do because he’s a winger. And he’s scored more goals, so I guess it’s a little different.

How competitive are you with each other?
D Not at all.
H Nope.

Come on. You don’t care if you have more points than him?
D We play on the same line, we play on the same team. We want to help the team win. You can’t be competitive in that regard if you want to win games. If he played on another team it would be another story. We compete at everything but hockey. If we play tennis…
H Oh yeah, then it’s competitive.

To the death? Do you trash talk?
D Yeah. Oh, I mean, we don’t fight, we just get into it.
H Have you heard trash talk in Swedish? It’s non-existent.

How would you describe each other.
D Describe…
H Dan is very nervous to make mistakes, or to be late.
D Not make mistakes.
H No, not make mistakes. But to be late.
D What’s wrong with that? You want to be on time, right? I wouldn’t say Henrik doesn’t care about those kinds of things, but . . . yeah. I think that shows respect, no?
H You can be five minutes early, like I am. Or you can be 25 minutes early like he is.

Do you always room together on the road?
D and H Never.

That’s not true.
D We used to, but not anymore. Everyone has their own room.

Do you miss sharing a room?
H No. Now Danny gets to sleep.
D No snooze button.

A lot of people have been saying lately that you two are underappreciated.
D That’s totally fine. In the Canadian market you get enough spotlight. It’s part of playing in Canada. I think it’s great, too. It pushes you to play hard every night.

How often do you get back to Sweden?
D Every summer. Our kids see their cousins, their grandparents.

Your town has produced a lot of NHLers.
H I don’t think a lot are from our hometown but they’re from the region. When you’re 15 or 16 they bring everyone from within 100 km to go to a hockey camp.
D The best ones.
H The best ones. They let them practise and play together so it pushes everyone to want to be the best.
D There’s been a lot of players throughout the years. Like Peter Forsberg, Markus Naslund.
H They led the way. They showed it was possible for a guy to come from our hometown and go all the way over here.

What was it like moving to Canada?
D I think the people are very similar. Nice, down to earth. But the size of the city, and no family over here, that was hard.

No family? You had your brother with you!
D True. [Laughs.]
H In our hometown, hockey is huge, but it’s 30,000 people. In Vancouver, hockey is maybe a little bit bigger, but it’s 2.5 million people or whatever. Everything’s bigger.

You guys got lucky landing in Vancouver. Great city.
D Very lucky.
H The slopes.
D But we can’t ski.
H We can’t get injured.
D We can do anything if we don’t get injured, though.

Daniel, what did you do to your pinky? [It’s bruised under the nail.]
D This? It’s a slash. This is nothing. Look at his finger.

The amputated one?
H Yeah.

Good point. What sort of trash talk do you guys hear?
D What’s the most common stuff? I don’t know if I can say.

Yeah, you can swear. We can print stars.
H OK, just write stars.

Do you get more trash talk on the ice because you’re twins?
D I think we used to. I don’t think it’s as bad anymore.

Like what?
H F, star, star, star, star, star, T, S.
D What would that be?
H [Laughs.] That’s one word.
D What’s the TS part?
H [Laughs.]

You were called the Sedin Sisters.
H That was stupid. It was a few people, and I think it shows more about them than it does about us. But whatever.

What’s the worst part about being a twin?
D Not a whole lot. We’ve always been best friends, so you always have your friend with you.

You never fight?
H We never once fought. I can’t think of my older brothers ever being mad at us, even.
D That’s a good friend, right?

You guys have had amazing careers. There’s only one thing missing…
D Stanley Cup. Yep. That’s a big thing, though.
H Especially being so close a few years back, we lost in game seven. That’s something that comes up a lot. We have one more thing to win, and that’s our only goal.
D We’re excited about this season, though. New management and coach and a couple new faces. It’s a long way to go, though.
H I think it’s one of the toughest things you can win, in all pro sports.
D Can’t look too far. You start thinking about winning the Stanley Cup right now, it’ll kind of burn you out.

Is hockey your favourite sport?
D No, soccer. When it’s World Cup, that’s the No. 1 tournament in the world.

You guys were good soccer players. Why didn’t you pursue that?
D We had a choice to make at 15, 16. We could move and go to a soccer academy, but it was kind of an easy choice. I think we made the right choice.
H Well, you never know. This could have been me. [Points to a picture of Neymar.]

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