Daniel and Henrik Sedin were guests on Vancouver’s TSN 1040 on Wednesday, a day before the Canucks’ 2014 training camp kicks off at Rogers Arena.
The twins are in Surrey today at Northview Golf and Country Club, taking part in the Jake Milford Canucks Charity Invitational. (Listen to the full interview from TSN below.)
Answering on everything from the black hole of despair that was Vancouver’s last season to which of his peers are the team’s best and worst golfers, captain Henrik took the mic first with TSN’s Matt Sekeres and Blake Price.
“It’s been a lot of changes, a lot of good changes, I feel,” Henrik said. “We lost some good players, but we also got some young, upcoming players. If you look at our lineup, I think this year it’s deeper than it was last year, especially up front where I feel we have more lines that can contribute now.
“I think we’re right there to compete with the top teams.”
Henrik added that a lot of the Canucks have to have bounce-back years – but critics would say he and his brother Daniel are two of those exact players. Henrik dropped to 50 points last year, his lowest total since 2004, while playing in just 70 injury-soaked games. Daniel had just 16 goals and 47 points in 73 games, his worst year offensively since 2003.
It’s a far cry from the 2010 and 2011 double-bill, when the twins shared back-to-back Art Ross Trophies and each topped 100 points.
The twins’ drop-off has mirrored the Canucks drop-off. In 2014, the team missed the playoffs for the first time in six seasons, and the core is now three years removed from when it reached Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2011.
“You talk a lot about core players and core groups, but a lot of times it’s the supporting staff that needs to be there,” Henrik said. “We’ve had that when we went to the Finals, we had the third and fourth line that chipped in every night… we played well that year, but we had a good team and we won a lot of games because of the supporting staff.”
“Absolutely. No question in my mind,” said Daniel, when asked if the team could rebound from its disastrous season under John Tortorella in time for 2015. “I think it’s been, you look at the guys coming in this year, it’s been a lot of focus on everything… you can tell that guys are hungry. They want to come back and prove that we can still play.”
Henrik also talked about their appearance in Agassiz, B.C. last weekend, where him and Daniel launched the Sedin Family Foundation and thrilled their young fans in the Fraser Valley with a couple public appearance.
Henrik and Daniel also donated $50,000 for an elementary school playground and $40,000 for gym equipment for the new Kent Community Recreation and Cultural Centre.
(Writing about the weekend in the Agassiz Harrison Observer, Jessica Peters wrote that when Henrik and Daniel made their surprise appearance at Kent elementary school, “the cheers could be heard from well down the block.”)
“It was great,” said Henrik. “To go out there to Agassiz and see what they’ve done there. For us, growing up in Sweden in a small town, we had things to do after school every day.
“I think it’s important for kids to have something to do after school… to have a gym where they can play soccer inside or whatever they want to do. That’s something we thought about for a while there, and it was a great start.”
Both Henrik and Daniel said Brad Richardson was the team’s best golfer, and also agreed that fellow Swede Alex Edler was the team’s worst golfer – although they added that Edler has just picked up the game and will improve.
When asked which Canuck was the most likely to use the “foot wedge” – meaning, who’s gonna kick the ball a few feet when they don’t like their lie – Henrik said it was a tie between Kevin Bieksa and Alex Burrows, while Daniel Sedin gave the (dis)honour to Zack Kassian.
Daniel also gloated about beating his brother on the course this summer, which is apparently only the second time the younger Daniel has been the older Henrik.
“It got close,” he said about holding the lead down the stretch. “He was a little bit worse than normal… I usually lose the lead pretty quick. I can hold my game for nine holes and then I fall apart, but that particular game I could hold it for longer.”