Photo credit:Twitter via @Canucks
Roberto Luongo, Henrik and Daniel Sedin officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame
1 year ago
Last night, the Hockey Hall of Fame officially welcomed the three greatest players in Vancouver Canucks history to join their hallowed walls.
Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, and Roberto Luongo were inducted today as part of the Hall’s Class of 2022 for their incredible on-ice achievements. They were joined by longtime Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, Finnish women’s national team captain Riikka Sallinen, and the late Herb Carnegie, who’s considered the greatest black hockey player to never play in the NHL.
For Canucks fans, the Sedins and Luongo’s inductions cement the legacy of the team’s greatest era during the late 2000s to early 2010s. All three played the roles of superstars and leaders for a Canucks team that won six division titles, back-to-back President’s Trophies in 2011 and 2012, and came within one win of the Stanley Cup in 2011.
Daniel and Henrik Sedin
Daniel and Henrik Sedin were drafted 2nd and 3rd overall by the Canucks in 1999, and each spent their entire 17-year careers in Vancouver. Henrik and Daniel own practically every major franchise record for Canucks players, along with the distinction of being the first pair of brothers in NHL history to score 1000 points each.
The Sedins played supporting roles through their first five NHL seasons, before their breakout season in 2006-07 when they finished first and second in team scoring for the first time. They’d go on to finish their careers #1 and #2 in franchise points (Henrik’s 1070, Daniel’s 1041), games played (Henrik’s 1330 and Daniel’s 1306), and assists (Henrik’s 1330 and Daniel’s 1306). Henrik served as Canucks’ captain from 2010 to 2018, while Daniel finished first in Canucks goals with 393.
The twins reached their peaks across two seasons. In 2009-10, Henrik led the NHL with 112 points and won both the Hart Trophy for league MVP and the Ted Lindsay Award for MVP as voted by the players. In 2010-11, Daniel led the league with 104 points, won the Ted Lindsay Award and finished second in Hart voting.
The twins represented their native Sweden in international hockey on several occasions. They were most notably members of the Swedish teams that won gold at the 2006 Olympics in Torino and silver at the 2014 Games in Torino.
Both Sedins received their plaques from former Canucks general manager Brian Burke, who had orchestrated the draft day trades that brought the twins to Vancouver.
Daniel went first, with the twins electing to divide up some of the people they thanked in their speeches according to The Athletic’s Thomas Drance.
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“I never set a goal to play in the NHL. My whole guidance was guys playing for MODO in the Swedish Hockey League,” Daniel said. “So it is beyond under my expectations to be on the stage tonight being honoured along with Daniel [Alfredsson] Herb, Lu, Rikka and Henrik.”
In his speech, Daniel thanked their family, Canucks scout Thomas Gradin for pushing Burke to draft him and Henrik, the current Canucks’ front office, and the coaches and agents who had been influential in keeping them in Vancouver.
Daniel also made time for Luongo in his speech. “Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is truly an honour, but doing it alongside Roberto makes it so much more special. You raised the standards of our team and made everyone believe that average was never an option. I’m proud to call you a friend.”
Finally, Daniel discussed his brother.
“Henrik, I can say this honestly. In my mind, you’re a better hockey player than me, and a better person than me,” Daniel said. “And I say this with the understanding that you’ll be standing up here yourself in about ten minutes. Can’t wait to hear what you say about me.”
Henrik went next and offered his response.
“As you might know, I’ve just recovered from COVID. It came down to a last-minute decision to attend. But as our coaches have always said, Henrik at 70% is a lot better than Daniel at 100%,” Henrik said to big laughs from the auditorium.
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Both Sedins thanked plenty of their Canucks teammates for helping them get to the Hall of Fame, including Markus Naslund and Trevor Linden. But one was highlighted above all else: Alex Burrows.
“I’m not sure how we managed to have the success we had. You spoke French, we communicated like dolphins. But every time we stepped over those boards, we knew we can make a difference,” Henrik said of their longest linemate. “I’m happy to see you coach with the same passion and drive you had back when you played.”
They also thanked the rest of their core teammates from the Canucks’ prime seasons. “To Kevin Bieksa, Ryan Kesler, Alex Edler and Jannik Hansen. You guys came up a couple of years after us. Thanks for helping create a culture where results were just a byproduct of our everyday process,” Henrik said, before turning to Luongo.
“Roberto, you were the face of that culture. I’ve never been around anyone with the same determination and willingness to do anything to get better. It’s an honour to be here tonight with you.”
Roberto Luongo arrived in Vancouver after a trade with the Panthers in 2006 and spent eight seasons with the Canucks. His arrival sparked a massive turnaround for the franchise from a middling team into a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.
Luongo holds the Canucks’ franchise records for wins (252) and shutouts (38), and was the recipient of the Jennings Trophy for the league’s best save percentage in 2010-11, shared with backup Cory Schneider. Luongo was also the Canucks captain for two seasons from 2008 to 2010.
Over his 19-year career Luongo won 489 games, then the third most in NHL history. He currently sits in fourth after Marc-Andre Fleury passed him in May 2021. Luongo is also currently ninth on the all-time shutouts list with 77 and is second only to Martin Brodeur in games played with 1044. While he never won Vezina Trophy for the league’s best goalie, he finished top three in voting three times in his career.
After spending his rookie season with the New York Islanders, Luongo was traded to the Panthers, where he spent one stint from 2000 to 2006, and a second after the Canucks traded him back in 2014 until his retirement in 2019. Luongo owns several Panthers franchise records as well, including wins (230), shutouts (38) and games played (572).
Luongo also earned the chance to represent Team Canada at three Olympics, most notably at Vancouver 2010 when he helped lead Canada to the gold medal on his home ice. He also won gold as a backup to Carey Price at Sochi 2014.
Luongo received his plaque from fellow legendary goalie Dominik Hasek, a perfect choice and a surprise that caught Luongo off guard. In a wonderful speech, Luongo thanked his family members that had a hand in pushing him to the NHL, his friends who’d travelled to see him play all across the world, and the coaches who’d believed in him.
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In a particularly emotional moment, Luongo took the time to highlight the Sedins. “When I got the call, the first thing I asked was if you guys were in too, because I wanted it so bad to go in with you guys,” Luongo said.
“Just being your teammate for eight years was such an honour. I’m proud to say that I played with you guys because just watching you not on the ice, but also in the locker room as people. I hold you in such high regard.”
Luongo later brought up the question about whether he saw himself entering the Hall of Fame as a Panther or as a Canuck, and put the matter to bed perfectly. “To be honest with you, both franchises mean so much to me and they’re both equally important.”
“I had my best moments in Vancouver,” Luongo said about his time as a Canuck. “I got to a Stanley Cup Final. I got to appreciate things more during the difficult times. They demanded a lot of me, and I expected a lot of myself. They helped pushed me to be a better player and most importantly, a better person.”
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