I don’t really talk a lot about it on my public social media accounts, because I like to focus on SFF, which I think is what most people follow me for, but I’m a huge hockey fan. Like, a fanatic. Over the years, I’ve had the alternating privilege and curse of being a Vancouver Canucks fan. I won’t go into details about this roller coaster ride, but I do want to briefly discuss an element of being a Canucks fan that’s been a tremendous pleasure: watching 18 years of Daniel and Henrik Sedin play hockey.
I was 15 when they were drafted, so their playing career started almost exactly when my more active fandom began. (I’ve been a hockey fan since childhood—despite not coming from a family that plays or even watches much hockey—but most of that period was spent following Wayne Gretzky from team-to-team. I became more engaged with the sport in high school, when I switched allegiance to the Canucks.) They were a curiousity when they were drafted, but promised to be interesting, if nothing else. Looking back, they were not only interesting—approaching the game like no other players before them or since—but intensely skilled and dedicated to the sport. Throughout the early years of their career, they were consistently called the “Sisters,” even on national broadcasts by journalists and other “professionals,” and yet they came out to every game (Henrik holds the sixth-longest Ironman Streak in NHL history), put up points, outsmarted and outscored their opponents. Night in, night out. They led the team to the Stanley Cup final in 2011. They were beautiful to watch on the ice.
On Saturday, they will play their last game in the NHL before a well-deserved retirement. If I had it my way, their jersey’s would be raised to the rafters before that game.
By all accounts, as good as they were at ice hockey, the Sedins were even better people off the ice. They contributed a tremendous amount of time, energy, and money to the hockey community and to the British Columbia. In 2010, shortly after signing a big contract, they donated $1.5 million to BC Children’s Hospital. They are an inspiration.
During the heyday, I’m not sure if we Canucks fans knew how lucky we were two watch them play. It was an embarrassment of riches. Now, looking back, with the bittersweetness of their retirement ahead, it’s clear that we had the privilege for 18 years to watch the two greatest Canucks of all time play hockey.
Onwards and upwards, Daniel and Henrik.