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'Two greatest Canucks of all time': Sedins' jerseys officially retired
VANCOUVER -- Daniel and Henrik Sedin had their numbers hoisted to the rafters of Rogers Arena Wednesday, following an hour-long ceremony filled with levity and tears.
The jersey retirement ceremony is part of Sedin Week, the Vancouver Canucks' week-long celebration of the twins' achievements.
"It is time to honour and celebrate the greatest Canucks of all time: Daniel and Henrik Sedin," said Canucks' play-by-play commentator John Shorthouse, who hosted the ceremony."We welcome you to this historic event, historic because we are going to raise two banners as one."
Many familiar faces returned to Rogers Arena, including Stan Smyl, Trevor Linden and Markus Naslund, whose numbers have also been retired by the franchise.
The twins' former teammates – Kevin Bieska, Alex Burrows, Jannik Hansen, Ryan Kesler, Roberto Luongo and Mattias Öhlund – also attended the celebrations.
The Canucks selected Daniel and Henrik with the second and third overall picks in 1999 NHL draft. The pair went on to play 18 seasons in Vancouver.
"It wasn't easy leaving our small hometown and moving to a big city halfway around the world, but what a city we came to," Henrik said to a full house at Rogers Arena Wednesday night.
"To the people of Vancouver and British Columbia: We came here in 1999 and it felt like home from day one. We want to thank you for how you treated us and our families. To play for you has truly been an honour and nothing we've ever taken for granted."
The twins took turns thanking family, former teammates and the people behind the scenes.
"Our years with you guys is something we will never forget. We came to the rink every day with a smile on our face because we knew there will be great stories and lots of laughs," said Daniel, also touching on the team's bittersweet playoff run in 2011, when the Canucks lost to Boston in game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals.
"It didn’t end the way we wanted it, but getting a chance of playing game seven in the Stanley Cup Finals was the highlight of our careers," he said.
Henrik said the brothers will now be able to watch the game as Canucks fans.
The twins are the all-time points leaders in franchise history and their charity work is another reason why many consider them to be leaders on and off the ice.
As part of the jersey retirement celebrations, Canucks for Kids Fund and the Sedin Family Foundation announced a new partnership that will create an annual legacy project supporting B.C. families.
The funding for the first project will come from Wednesday night's 50/50 proceeds.
The franchise has only retired four other jerseys, and now numbers "22" and "33" will join the company of other Canucks legends.