Jun 242010
 
Henrik Sedin wins the Hart Trophy

Photo credit: Vancouver Sun

Amidst all the congratulatory things that Canucks fans said after Henrik Sedin’s Hart Trophy win last night were some good one-liners online.

Referring to the Sedins’ long-time reputation as second-line players, one fan called him the “best second line player ever”.

Referring to his inability to produce without his brother Daniel, another fan asked “how many unique Harts is that”?

And a good friend of mine was ribbing another friend who wasn’t a huge Sedin fan in the past by simply by asking “if he’d still trade both Sedins for Olli Jokinen”.

Surely, Henrik’s Hart changed the minds of a lot of his early doubters.

This year, as things transpired, certainly represented a different year for the NHL’s new king. By now, the story of the Sedins’ early career struggles is part of Canucks mythology and adds depth and layers to Henrik’s story. Four seasons into his career, he was struggling to hit 40 points in a season and both he and his twin brother Daniel were considered dismal failures.

The year after the NHL lockout, however, they returned as point-a-game players and there it seemed they’d play out their careers; solid first-liners but players who’d never challenge the NHL’s elite.

That all changed abruptly this season when Henrik led the NHL with 112 points.

He is the first player in Canucks history to win the Hart. He is also only the 3rd player from a West Coast team to win it. (Wayne Gretzky in 1989 and Joe Thornton in 2006 are the others.)

But if you think his rise to fame this season will change him, think again.

Nice guy finishes first.

That’s the headline that belongs on this story about a soft-spoken Swede who epitomizes class and showed the world this past season that he is among the best hockey players on the planet.

Henrik Sedin now has the hardware to prove it. Early Wednesday evening, at a glitzy NHL Awards ceremony at The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, Sedin walked away with the marquee award of the night.

Sedin beat two guys named Ovechkin and Crosby to become the first Vancouver Canuck to win the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player.

Afterwards, Sedin, who called himself a long-shot heading into the awards, seemed to still be pinching himself as if he couldn’t believe it.

“They are the faces of the sport and just to watch them play and the things they do and to be standing next to them as the old guy, it’s a strange feeling,” Sedin said. “I’m very proud. It was a great honour for sure.”

And all Canucks fans are proud of you as well, Henrik.

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