The Sedins: Great Players, Even Better People

For anyone still questioning the Sedins, I recommend you read Ed Willes’ piece (Vancouver Province). Daniel, of course, has already won the Art Ross Trophy for leading the NHL in scoring in the regular season. But also:

But the Hart isn’t the only hardware Sedin is up for today. He and his twin brother – and what does it say about the Sedins that they’re listed as an entry- are up for something called the NHL Foundation Player of the Year Award.

Now, the Foundation Award is not one of the most coveted trophies in the NHL. Truth be told, it’s only been presented for the last 12 years and if this was the Oscars, it would be one of those awards they announced before the ceremony.

But it’s a funny thing. When asked which trophy means more, Daniel answered, “Obviously, it’s the Foundation Award.”

For all their successes – and the team’s – this season, Hank and Dank took a lot of abuse from fans and the media. They’ve been called the sisters and labeled as chokers. They’ve been nicknamed Thelma and Louise. They’ve been called a pair of Raggedy Anns and inept leaders.

This despite both of them leading the NHL in scoring in back-to-back years, despite Henrik winning the Hart and Daniel being nominated this year for it, despite finishing second and third in playoff scoring often against elite defensive pairing, and despite getting the Canucks to within one win of their first-ever Stanley Cup.

It’s obvious they don’t garner the same amount of respect as some of the league’s other superstars.

How many of the league’s superstars get called for a 10-minute misconduct for taking 6 punches to the head after the whistle? But I digress.

Criticism isn’t new to the Sedins – they’ve faced a lot, especially from Canucks fans, since they played their first game in a Canucks jersey 10 years ago. To their credit, they’ve usually risen above it, and when they haven’t, they’ve never shied from taking responsibility for it.

It was also easy to single out the Sedins for their lack of production during the Stanley Cup final and, predictably, they haven’t tried to shift the responsibility. As Vigneault said on Tuesday: “You look at the twins and what they said, ‘We’re paid to score and we didn’t score.’”

“That’s accountability and that’s what you want as a coach.”

Here’s more from Elliotte Friedman (CBC):

Considering the level of disappointment the Vancouver organization had with the refereeing in the Stanley Cup Final, the Sedins showed an unbelievable amount of class by skating over to the officials after the handshakes and thanking them. According to one source, their comments were along the lines of, “We know that a lot gets said. This is an emotional time and you shouldn’t take all of it personally.” And, if anyone thinks that makes them soft, the two Flyers who did the same thing last year were Mike Richards and Chris Pronger.

Through the good and the bad, and on the ice and off it, the Sedins understand their responsibilities as hockey players and as role models in a hockey-mad city such as Vancouver. And not only do they understand these responsibilities, they embrace them.

Which brings me back to the Foundation Award.

The Foundation Award, just so you know, is presented to players for their charitable work. Daniel and Henrik are in the process of donating $1.5 million to the B.C. Childrens’ Hospital. They’re also involved in a myriad of other charitable endeavours.

Given the amount of flak they’ve taken, it would have been easy for the Sedins to simply play the game, collect their paycheques, and not give two hoots about anything else. But that’s not the kind of people they are.

For all this, some call them inept leaders. I call them special players.

J.J. Guerrero

Founder and Executive Editor of Canucks Hockey Blog. Proud Canadian, hardcore Canucks fan. I would like nothing more than watching the Canucks win the Stanley Cup. Against the Leafs.

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