To the disappointment of Örnsköldsvik hockey fans and presumably Modo General Manager and former Canucks captain Markus Naslund, the Sedin twins have decided that they probably won’t play in the SEL next season in the event of a lockout.
Read past the jump.
That’s according to Daniel Sedin who is quoted by Swedish sports media site Nyheter24 as saying that not only will the twins not play in the SEL next season (in the event of a lockout), but they may not play professional hockey at all. Here’s a translation (it’s an amalgamation of google translate and some direct translation from Expressen’s Jonatan Lindquist):
"We’ll go over [to Vancouver]. We have children who go to school so we’ll see what happens. It will be clearer when the season is about to start, how long the lockout will be if there is one. But we have decided to go over and be there."
On playing with Modo:
"No. Or, of course it depends a lot on how long the lockout will be, but we will at least start the season over there."
Would they take a full season off if there is a lockout:
"Absolutely, we see no problem with that. We can keep on working out and practicing anyway."
In order to earn a cheque while the owners and the Players Association square off, NHLers have quickly filled up European hockey rosters during NHL work stoppages in the past. Already in the Swedish press, there are breathless reports of Henrik Lundqvist, Erik Karlsson, and Loui Erikkson teaming up to play for Frölunda, for example.
The twins have racked up a lot of mileage, and in Daniel’s case some concerning injuries (a back ailment, in addition to a concussion) over the past few seasons. In addition to the abuse they take from the opposition on a game-to-game basis, both twins are singularly committed to fitness, so it’s realistic that some extended down time away from professional hockey could even prove useful to them in the medium term.
On the other hand, part of the reason that Henrik Sedin hasn’t missed a regular season game in nearly a decade, is that the twins are well-known for being addicted to playing hockey. By all accounts the twins love to compete, love the grind and are loathe to miss any games. In the event of a lockout, I wouldn’t be concerned about them getting rusty because of time-off, but I’m kind of skeptical about their ability to actually step away from the game for that long!
Let’s hope this is all for naught, and that the NHL and the NHLPA manage to hammer out a deal at some point in the next couple of months. The twins play the game so beautifully that, for the hockey world to be deprived of their skillful passing exhibitions for an entire season… Well, it seems almost cruel.
Update: the Sedins later elaborated on their comments to Av Gunnar Norstrom of Expressen. In summary: if it looks like the lockout will last only a few months, then the twins will wait it out. If it looks like the whole season is lost, they will join Modo and have spoken with Naslund about it.