Sedins' swansong: Canucks fans pack Rogers Arena for twins' last home game
Published Thursday, April 5, 2018 7:08PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 5, 2018 7:11PM PDT
After 18 years with the Vancouver Canucks, Henrik and Daniel Sedin took to the ice at Rogers Arena for the last time.
The Swedish twins will hang up their skates at the end of the team's final game of the 2017-18 season on Saturday against the Oilers, but their last home game was Thursday night against the Coyotes.
Fans started gathering at the downtown Vancouver venue hours before the game, writing farewell messages to the 37-year-olds on a board set up by the Canucks. Messages ranged from simple thank-yous for their efforts on the ice to heartfelt best wishes for the players who were just as well-known for their charity work and love of the city.
"They defined for 18 years what it meant to be a Canuck," a fan who signed the wall earlier in the day told CTV News.
The idea was popular, and well-wishers had so much to say that it filled up before many with tickets to game showed up.
"I think it's amazing. I'm just reading all these amazing tributes to them and I wish I could have had a chance to write as well," one fan said.
The game is expected to be emotional both for the players and fans.
"You've got to take it, I guess, minute-by-minute and see what's going to go through your mind," Henrik said.
There were a number of tributes to the twins at Tuesday's home game, so they said they had an idea of what to expect, but about 20 family members and friends planned to attend the final game in Vancouver.
"Last game was tough and tonight… I don't know if I'm going to watch the scoreboard, or the JumboTron, or maybe watch the ice and talk to my teammates as much as possible," Henrik said.
Daniel said what he'll miss most is the fans.
"We're going to try to treat it as a normal game. I think it's a chance for us to show them our respect too… We say this a lot but they've been extremely good to us – not only the hockey fans but just people in Vancouver – treating us like normal people."
They said they plan to acknowledge the fans at various times throughout the game.
A couple who flew in from Winnipeg to say goodbye to the Sedins in person said they'd already cried before the game even started.
And Marcel Campos came from even further: Rio de Janeiro. It turns out hockey fans in Brazil know of the Sedins.
"Who doesn't? I mean, they're one of the best in the game," Campos said.
In the hours before the game started, there were still tickets available for prices between $99 and about $400, while online, resellers were looking for as much as $2,000.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Christina Heydanus and St. John Alexander
Vancouver City Hall will be lit up tonight in alternating blue and yellow in recognition of Canucks veterans, Daniel and Henrik Sedins’, final home game. pic.twitter.com/cGaAHzUxdF— City of Vancouver (@CityofVancouver) April 5, 2018