"We told our teammates this morning they should be regular games".
We should have seen this coming.
And yet, in the last few weeks, the exit signs were more evident. Green's biggest challenge over the final three games of the season is to strike a balance between giving the Sedins the ice time they deserve while continuing to allow the young players to grow. Fans and players took to social media to congratulate the duo on their remarkable National Hockey League career. It should have been obvious. Henrik and Daniel will leave ranked first and second in points in Canucks history. Henrik's season-high is 19:42 while Daniel's is 19:03, both coming in a 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues in the final game before Christmas.
However, instead of pressing on, they're stepping back. "We're really comfortable where we're at". "But it became clear, after discussions with our families throughout the year, that this will be our last season", they said.
"We're saying it now because we want to share these final three games with you".
"We started the year with the mindset that a decision would be made in the postseason", the letter read.
The pair announced the news through a statement on the team's website Monday afternoon. They put their families and team ahead of themselves. The Canucks lost to the Bruins in seven games. Elias Pettersson, Olli Juolevi, Adam Gaudette, Jonathan Dahlen, Kole Lind and others all represent hope.
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The fact that the Sedins spent time on the same roster as Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser (and, at least for a game or two, Thatcher Demko) was great for the youngsters and with more reinforcements coming, the Canucks will rise in the future.
Burke has lived happily with being tied to the twins ever since, watching them blossom into one of the most unique and successful brother duos in sports lore. Daniel won the Art Ross a season later with a league-leading 104 points (41 goals, 63 assists).
"It's fashionable for GMs to say when a player retires, 'I knew he'd be that good, '" said Burke. But what of their legacy?
This was evident when the other missed games because of injury, and was especially noticeable at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi when Henrik stayed back in Vancouver to nurse a nagging rib injury. They never failed to do Vancouverites proud.
"It's a chance for us to thank the fans", Daniel Sedin said. We always came into practices and games the same way, win or lose.
The Sedins are known for their playmaking abilities. The 1999 first-round draft picks didn't have it easy at the outset. Daniel, a goal-scoring winger, has scored 51. "We wanted to show we could play and get better every day from Day 1". "I'm sure they both feel they want to go out on top, and feel like they can probably still play another handful of years". It was tough early on.
Along the way they became iconic on the west coast for their charitable endeavours and endless class while dealing with fans, the media and anybody who crossed their paths.
Easing into retirement might not be a thing for the Sedins. It's time to help with homework every night.