Memorable Milestones from Canucks' All-Time Points Leader Henrik Sedin

Carol SchramFeatured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2013

Memorable Milestones from Canucks' All-Time Points Leader Henrik Sedin

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    Midway through last Friday's home game against the Dallas Stars, Henrik Sedin notched his second point of the contest when he threaded a beautiful pass through to Alex Burrows, who put the Vancouver Canucks up by a score of 3-1.

    Sedin's assist was point number 757 of his career. It moved him into first place on the Canucks' all-time scoring list, ahead of fellow Swede Markus Naslund.

    As this video shows, fans remained on their feet at Rogers Arena during more than three minutes of continuous action following the goal, creating a spine-chilling moment that won't be forgotten in Vancouver anytime soon.

    It hasn't been an easy ride for Sedin and his twin brother, Daniel, but in recent years, they've carved out a spot among the NHL's elite. Here's a look back at some important milestones in Henrik's NHL journey.

June 1999—Canucks Draft Henrik Third Overall

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    Going into the 1999 draft in Boston, Henrik Sedin and his twin brother, Daniel, made it known that they hoped to be able to play for the same team when they joined the NHL. The question was whether an NHL GM could engineer a suitable deal to make that happen.

    Brian Burke was Vancouver's general manager at the time, and the draft-day deal was complex. From Jes Golbez of aolnews.com:

    1. The wheeling and dealing began when Vancouver sent defenseman Bryan McCabe and a 2000 first-round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks (which became Pavel Vorobiev, who did next to nothing) for the fourth overall pick (which landed with the Rangers and became Brendl)

    2. Brian Burke then sent the No. 4 selection and a pair of third-round picks to the Tampa Bay Lightning for the top overall pick.

    3. Next, Vancouver sent the top pick to the expansion Atlanta Thrashers for the No. 2 selection and a conditional 2000 third-rounder. The deal was that the Thrashers would take Stefan, leaving the Canucks to take the Sedins in sequential order.

    The Canucks took Daniel "the scorer" with the No. 2 pick and Henrik "the playmaker" at No. 3.

    The real assets Vancouver gave up to draft the twins were McCabe, who had been acquired as part of the Trevor Linden deal in January 1998, and the first-round pick they'd picked up from Florida in the Pavel Bure deal. Not bad!

October 2000—Henrik and Daniel Sedin Play First NHL Game

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    After being drafted by the Canucks, the twins spent one more year with MODO in Sweden before arriving in Vancouver.

    As this recent piece from The Vancouver Sun explains, the twins' first game against the hulking Philadelphia Flyers was symbolic of the early criticism against them: "Too young, too soft, too weak to compete at the NHL level."

    The twins were held pointless in their debut, but the year was ultimately a success for both the Sedins and the Canucks. The team made it back into the playoffs for the first time in five seasons, ushering in what has become the most successful period in franchise history.

February 2006—Olympic Gold Medal

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    In their first four NHL seasons, the twins were relegated primarily to bottom six duties as the West Coast Express line of Markus Naslund, Todd Bertuzzi and Brendan Morrison ate up the lion's share of quality ice time. Henrik's point totals did improve each year, from 29 points in 2000-01 to 42 in 2003-04.

    Daniel and Henrik spent the 2004-05 lockout year with MODO in Sweden and returned as new men. Thanks to improved maturity and conditioning, in 2005-06, Henrik's production jumped to 75 points.

    In February 2006, the twins were part of the Swedish squad that captured the gold medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

    The Canucks missed the playoffs that year for the first time since the Sedins joined the team. The team's poor season led to the hiring of Alain Vigneault, the acquisition of Roberto Luongo and the commitment to the core group of players who continue to lead the team in Vancouver today.

June 2010—Art Ross Trophy and Hart Trophy

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    In the years after the lockout, Henrik settled in as a point-a-game player who would work wonders with the puck as a setup man. In 2009-10, his production took a giant leap forward.

    Henrik increased his point total by nearly 50 percent, jumping from 82 points the previous season to a gaudy 112 points, enough to win the Art Ross trophy as the NHL's leading scorer.

    Henrik's improvement and the importance of his role on the Canucks finally made folks all around the league take notice. The Professional Hockey Writers' Association voted Henrik as the winner of the 2010 Hart Memorial Trophy ahead of runners-up Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin.

    He was the first member of the Canucks to win either of these honors.

October 2010—Henrik Becomes Captain

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    The Vancouver Canucks opened their 40th anniversary season in 2010 by naming Henrik Sedin as the team's new captain. This followed a controversial two-year tenure by goaltender Roberto Luongo.

    It was believed that the pressure of the captaincy had a negative effect on Luongo's game. Henrik's Hart Trophy award helped emphasize what a natural fit he was for the position.

    Henrik followed in the footsteps of fellow Swede Markus Naslund as a quiet leader who let his play do most of the talking.

June 2011—Canucks Reach Stanley Cup Final

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    Henrik's first season as captain was a beauty in Vancouver.

    The Canucks captured their first Presidents' Trophy with 117 regular season points. Then, after falling to the Chicago Blackhawks in two previous playoff appearances, they triumphed in the first round in 2010-11.

    The thrilling Game 7 overtime win propelled them past the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks into a war with the Boston Bruins for the Stanley Cup.

    Vancouver ultimately fell one game short but matched the 1993-94 Canucks squad for the best postseason run in team history.

December 2011—Becomes Canucks Ironman

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    On December 26, 2011 against the Edmonton Oilers, Henrik Sedin surpassed Brendan Morrison to assume the title of Vancouver Canucks' ironman.

    Henrik's consecutive games streak began on March 21, 2004. According to Wikipedia, he had played 581 consecutive games as of February 9, 2013. That puts him in seventh spot among all-time NHL ironmen.

    Jay Bouwmeester, of Calgary, also has an active streak, which is seven games longer than Henrik's. They're the only two current NHLers on a list of just 19 players all time who have played more than 500 consecutive games at some point in their careers. Quite an achievement.

    At 32, Henrik should have a few more good NHL seasons still to come. What other records will he hold when all is said and done? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

     

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