Daniel Sedin thinks he knows why Lars Karlin, his coach when he was 12 in his hometown of Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, moved him to the wing and kept his twin brother, Henrik Sedinas center.
“In my mind, it’s because Henrik has six more minutes,” Daniel said. “I think center players need to be more responsible. Maybe it was in his head when he chose. Maybe he naturally chose Henrik because he’s older.
Daniel jokes. But it worked.
A left-winger playing alongside his brother for 17 seasons, Daniel scored a Vancouver Canucks record 393 goals, 280 of which were assisted by Henrik (202 in elementary school, 78 in high school). He also had 648 assists, including 148 of Henrik’s 240 goals.
Daniel is second in assists, points (1,041) and games played (1,306) in Canucks history behind Henrik (830 assists, 1,070 points, 1,330 games played).
The twins, selected second (Daniel) and third (Henrik) by the Canucks in the 1999 NHL Draft, enter the Hockey Hall of Fame together as part of the Class of 2022 to be inducted Monday.
That Daniel did it as a wing and the younger brother, albeit 360 seconds, is just a footnote to how he did it.
Video: [email protected]: D. Sedin scores OT winner in last home game
“I always thought of Danny as a center player in the way he thought about the game,” Henrik said. “That never changed. I was just lucky to play with a guy who thinks about the game like a center player but also does the job of a winger very well. I don’t think he there was a difference between me and Danny. He became the shooter and more the finisher, but he could also easily play in the center. We were the exact same player when we played on different lines as a center, so it could have easily be me who was moved to the wing.
Daniel even knew at 12 that he had to adapt his style of play to become a striker capable of finishing the plays his brother had started.
“I realized I had to change my game and get a good shot, a pretty good shot,” he said.
He became a true finisher in the NHL, scoring 30 goals four times, including 41 in 2010-11.
“Quick loose, very fast and very accurate,” said Alex Burrows, who played several seasons on the same line with the twins in Vancouver. “He also had a flair for the net. Even before the puck was on his blade, he knew where to go with it. It wasn’t the hardest shot, but the accuracy and speed of the release is what beat most goaltenders.
Former Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider said Daniel’s shot could surprise goaltenders.
“Underrated,” Schneider said. “He never landed a hard, big, heavy shot, but I think he had one of the most accurate and powerful wrists I’ve seen. It was hard to stop at the practice. But he could pass just as well. He was just as good a passer, so I think that’s also underrated. Hank was the passer and had more assists, but I think Danny’s ability to spending with him and following him in that way made them so special.
Henrik said Daniel had to play with a more selfish mentality because he had to be the shooter.
“I wouldn’t call it a selfish player, but if it was a 2-on-1, I’d pass the puck nine out of 10 times, he’d shoot the puck five out of 10 times,” Henrik said. “He knew and understood that I wasn’t going to be the shooter, so he had to take it upon himself to become one.”
Daniel also got his nose dirty.
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“Going in all the dirty areas, in front of the net, cross-checking and never backing down,” former Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. “I never fought anybody, but certainly never backed down from all these great defenders from the early 2000s who were just trying to mistreat him. Daniel always went to all the dirty areas and never complained . None of them would ever complain.”
Part of Daniel’s skills was his ability to read his brother because often Henrik was the one orchestrating the dance. It was part of his wing mentality.
“Like most great sports duos, one guy has to be Batman and the other has to be Robin,” said Pittsburgh Penguins president of hockey operations Brian Burke, who as Canucks general manager drafted the Sedins in 1999. “When you’re Robin, you get some of the shitty assignments and you read Batman, which takes the lead. You have to figure out the dance, but someone else calls the moves you have to perform. That takes a special mentality of being the guy who can read about the other guy, get hit more than the other guy, and that’s okay because it’s going to win us games. and the fearlessness that comes with being Robin.
In this case, Robin scored 153 more goals than Batman.
“That’s the only number I bring up when people talk about us,” Daniel joked. “I also realize that a lot was set up by Henrik and it was mostly tap-ins, so I can’t really go overboard. But I’ll keep giving it to him for sure.”
Daniel was more Batman than Robin off the ice during their playing careers.
“He’s much more regulated and structured than Henrik,” Bieksa said. “He’s the hardworking of the two. He was the one who trained Henrik down to conditioning, cardio, nutrition. Henrik was more laid back. He liked to sit and joke around. He liked to sit on the couch and have a coffee and join in. So did Daniel, but Daniel was saying in Swedish, “It’s time to go. Let’s go to the gym.” Daniel is the bus driver of the two.”
Henrik said what made Daniel special was the fact that he was an everyday player.
“He never, ever took a night off and I think that’s rare,” he said. “We had a lot of bad games and it wasn’t because we took the night off. It was because our legs weren’t there. It was never for lack of effort or concentration or mental preparation. That’s where I think he was special, his His mindset and his mental build, that’s what impresses me the most. He was always up for a game. Over 1,300 matches or so, I don’t think he had one where he mentally took the night away.
But Daniel has always been the more laid-back, outgoing twin away from the rink, Henrik said.
“I’m more introverted than Daniel,” Henrik said. “That’s the big difference. But I also think maybe people won’t see it if they’re not close to us.”
Said Daniel, “People might think Henrik has been more outspoken since he was the captain and he’s always been the captain, but people who know us might see that differently. I think that’s one thing the people don’t really realize. It’s not a big difference. I think they take it for granted that because he’s the captain he’s more outspoken, but maybe it’s the other way around.
Burrows said he could see it when they played together.
“Danny likes to listen to stories and he would laugh more at silly stuff,” he said.
So it makes sense that he jokes that six minutes is why Karlin made Henrik the center and him the wing.
“He put us together on the same line and somehow he picked Henrik to be the center player,” Daniel said. “I don’t know why, but that’s what happened. And we’ve been together ever since.”
Still in the Hockey Hall of Fame too.