Though the Sedin brothers retiring from hockey doesn’t directly affect the Chicago Blackhawks, it’d be hard to forget the history between these two sides
The NHL was delivered a big blow this week as Daniel Sedin and brother Henrik Sedin announced they are retiring at the season’s send. The duo will have spent all 18 of its NHL seasons with the Vancouver Canucks.
Did you know the Chicago Blackhawks had a hand in bringing the Sedins to Vancouver in the first place? That’s right: The ‘Hawks helped get the Sedins to Vancouver.
The Sedins and ‘Hawks were linked from the start of the players’ careers in the NHL. In 1999, the Sedins decided to enter the NHL draft. It is widely know the both Daniel and Henrik wanted to play together but had expected to play for separate teams.
Canucks general manager Brian Burke had the third overall pick in the 1999 NHL Draft. Tampa Bay had the first pick, and the Atlanta Thrashers had the second pick. The Blackhawks were sitting in the fourth spot.
Burke went for the Blackhawks’ pick first, as he traded them Bryan McCabe and Vancouver’s first pick pick in the 2000 NHL Draft for the fourth overall pick. Burke would then use the fourth pick from the ‘Hawks and two third-round picks to get the first pick from Tampa Bay.
Burke then traded the first pick to the Rangers. Burke then worked out a deal with Atlanta not to pick either Daniel or Henrik. The Sedins would go second and third in the 1999 NHL draft.
The ‘Hawks’ haul was McCabe and the 2000 first-round pick. The ‘Hawks used their draft pick on Pavel Vorobiev.
Da Windy City
McCabe played one season with the Blackhawks. He appeared in 79 games with the ‘Hawks with six goals and 15 assists. Vorobiev was drafted 11th and appeared in 57 games with the ‘Hawks over two seasons, recording 10 goals and 15 assists. He would then return back to Russia after the 2005-06 season.
By trading 1999’s fourth pick to the Canucks, the Blackhawks are linked to some of their bitter rivals.
The ‘Hawks and Canucks would both peak at the same time around 2010. The ‘Hawks were led by Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Marian Hossa, Brent Seabrook and the rest of the core against the Sedins, Ryan Kesler, Roberto Luongo and Kevin Bieksa.
A rivalry was born, and some would speculate that it was the best rivalry in hockey at the time. The ‘Hawks and Canucks met three times in the playoffs from 2008-09 to 2010-11. The ‘Hawks would eliminate the Canucks in 2008-09, overcoming a 2-1 series deficit. In 2009-10, the ‘Hawks would again beat the Canucks in six games, overcoming another series deficit.
Early in the 2010-11 season, Dave Bolland, who tormented the Sedins during this time with the ‘Hawks, would dub the Sedin twins the “Sedin Sisters.” Bolland would basically say the Sedins and Canucks would never get to the ‘Hawks’ level.
The “Sedin Sisters” comment would draw the ire of then-Canucks coach Alain Vigneault, who responded by saying “Dave Bolland has the IQ the size of bird seed and a face only a mother can love.” The rivalry was intense between both these teams.
Once again, the ‘Hawks and Canucks would meet in the 2011 playoffs. The Canucks would lead the series 3-0 before the ‘Hawks rattled off three wins a row, capped by rookie Ben Smith‘s winning goal in the sixth game.
The Canucks would win Game 7 in overtime, overcoming the ‘Hawks for the first time during their renewed rivalry. The Sedins-led Canucks would get to the Stanley Cup Final and fall to the Boston Bruins.
The rivalry would end with a bang, Duncan Keith elbowed Daniel Sedin in the head in the last game of the 2013 regular season. Keith would be suspended for five games, and Daniel would miss most of the first round. Since then, the ‘Hawks and Canucks have not met in the playoffs.
The ‘Hawks-Canucks rivalry has faded away since 2013 because most of the hated players on Vancouver have moved onto other teams. The Sedins will retire now, but the ‘Hawks and their fans will never forget them.