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The 37-year-old Swedish twins will play the second-to-last game of their esteemed NHL careers as the Canucks (30-40-9) host the Vegas Golden Knights (50-22-7) at Rogers Arena.
“It’s a chance for us to thank the fans,” Daniel Sedin said during a news conference Monday after the twins announced this will be their final NHL season. “We told our teammates this morning they should be regular games. Treat us the same way.
“It should be no different this last week.”
But the otherwise meaningless game will be quite different. Tickets will be at a premium as fans come from near and far to see the future Hall of Famers in Canuck colors for one of the last times. The 18-year veterans are retiring after helping the Canucks become competitive in the early 2000s, and then come within one game of winning the 2011 Stanley Cup before rebuilding again.
“There’s been a lot of talk (about the future),” Henrik Sedin said during the noon-hour news conference. “We felt the longer the season went, it became clearer to us this was going to be our last year.”
“It’s a happy day for all of us,” Daniel Sedin added. “We’re really comfortable where we’re at.”
The Sedins were far from comfortable at the beginning of their careers, though, when they were ridiculed unfairly for not being tough enough or talented enough. They missed relatively few games while playing more than 1,000 each — and they both won NHL scoring titles — in back-to-back seasons.
Henrik Sedin took home Art Ross Trophy as the league’s top scorer in 2009-10 with 112 points and also captured the Hart Trophy as league MVP. The next season, Daniel Sedin won the Art Ross in 2010-11 with 104 points — 10 more than Henrik — earned the Ted Lindsay Award as the league MVP, based on player votes.
They also have given millions of dollars and time to many charities.
The Sedins have cited a desire to spend more time with their families, but plan to remain living in Vancouver.
“We’ll miss them as people and as players,” said Canucks president of hockey operations Trevor Linden, a former teammate. “(I’m) happy for them because I know this is a decision they’ve come to for the right reasons.”
On Tuesday, the Sedins will try to help the Canucks extend their current four-game win streak and pad their individual season point totals. Daniel Sedin has 21 goals and 31 assists in 78 games to date, while Henrik Sedin has three goals and 45 assists in 79 contests.
Meanwhile Jamal Adams Jersey , Vegas will use the game as a warmup for the postseason after clinching the Pacific Division title Saturday with a win over San Jose. The Golden Knights became the first NHL expansion team to qualify for the playoffs.
“It’s a great feeling to win our division,” Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Obviously, no one had those expectations at the beginning of the season. We played hard and worked hard all season long, so it’s a great accomplishment.
“But we all know what the real accomplishment is going to be. It’s all about the playoffs. Now that we know they’re there, we’ve got to get ready and make sure we’re set. That’s what is important to me. A great regular season means a lot, but a great playoffs means a lot more.”
Consequently, Gallant is expected to rest some of his key players as the regular season comes to a close. Top goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury will undoubtedly get a night or two off, and David Perron, who has missed the last three games with an undisclosed injury, Reilly Smith and Luca Sbisa, a former Canuck, are among others likely to be in the press box sometime during the final three games.
But Gallant does not want his team to let up as it attempts to secure home-ice advantage through as many rounds as possible.
“It’s all about points,” he told the Review-Journal. “You never know what the scenario is going to be down the road so let’s win as many games as we can.”
Ray Lewis arrived in Baltimore shortly after the transplanted Cleveland Browns, who were attempting to start anew in a city that had gone 12 years without an NFL team.Selected 26th overall in the 1996 draft after establishing himself as a star at the University of Miami, Lewis had no idea what he was getting into.
”We had no team. We had no logo. We had nothing,” Lewis recalled. ”There was nothing to really respect.”
Over the next 17 years, the Baltimore Ravens reached the postseason nine times Landon Collins Giants Jersey , won two Super Bowls and built a hard-hitting and relentless defense in the image of Lewis, their unquestioned leader.
A 13-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Lewis helped make the Ravens far better than respectable while establishing himself as one of the best linebackers to play the game.
His unparalleled play and unmatched leadership made him an obvious first-ballot entrant into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Lewis received the news last February, and still gets chills thinking about it.
”That knock on the door was like the first time I got my first jersey,” Lewis said. ”It was like when you ran home and you wanted to put on your pads. You weren’t playing no game, you just wanted to put on your pads because you were part of an elite team. You made it. So, it’s almost like the same feeling.”
He will be enshrined Saturday, joining offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden as the second Ravens star to have a bust in Canton, Ohio.
”It’s pretty clear Ray was the heart and soul of the Ravens for 17 years. If anyone is deserving of this honor, it’s Ray Lewis,” Ogden said. ”He is a guy we all looked to – both on offense and defense – to lead our team.”
There are many great linebackers in the Hall of Fame. Few of them combined skill and authority the way Lewis did.
After delivering an emotional speech before the game , Lewis would continue to push his teammates in the huddle before taking ownership of the middle of the field, looking to punish anyone in a different jersey.
”One of a kind. I think he’s the best that ever played,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. ”It’s not just the on-field play; it’s the whole package.”
Harbaugh acknowledged he carries the bias that comes with coaching Lewis for the final five years of his NFL career. Others, however, back the assertion.
”He’s the best I’ve seen,” said Mike Singletary Aaron Rodgers Packers Jersey , a Hall of Fame linebacker and former assistant coach in Baltimore. ”If people thought I was good, I know that Ray was better.”
It’s hard to determine Lewis’ most notable quality. His ferocity on the field? His teaching and leadership skills? Or was it his relentless drive to win?
Hall of Fame defensive back Rod Woodson, a teammate of Lewis’ on the 2000 Super Bowl team, chooses all of the above.
”What needs to be said about a guy who was, by far, the best leader I witnessed in my 17 years of play? His singular focus to be the best player and teammate he could be what separates him from other Hall of Famers,” Woodson said.
”His play was off the charts. He was a virtual tackling machine – and a playmaker. He caused fumbles, recovered fumbles, interceptions, tipped passes. He did it all for longer than anyone who played his spot in the middle.”
The 6-foot-1, 245-pound Lewis spent countless hours in the weight room and took an equal amount of pride in mastering the mental aspect of the game. He derived great pleasure from matching wits with great quarterbacks, most notably Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
”Those two guys were chess players,” Lewis said. ”The game was one thing, but it was the preparation before the game that was a totally different thought process. And then, every time we walked off the field, we gave each other mad respect.”
Lewis wasn’t perfect. He was arrested and charged with two counts of murder in Atlanta in 2000. Those charges were dropped, and he pleaded to obstruction of justice Jordan Howard Bears Jersey , a misdemeanor.
But questions about his role in the crime were an underlying theme before Baltimore faced the New York Giants one year later in the Super Bowl, a game which the Ravens won 34-7 and Lewis was voted MVP.
”Ray Lewis is going to be Ray Lewis. He’s not going to apologize for who he is,” Harbaugh said. ”But whenever he made a mistake, he was the first one to acknowledge it.”
In his first season in Baltimore, the Ravens finished 4-12. In his final season, which he dubbed ”my last ride” entering the playoffs, Baltimore beat San Francisco 34-31 in the Super Bowl.
It was a whirlwind career filled with ups and downs, and Lewis promises that kind of speech at his enshrinement.
”This moment for me is one you dream about your entire life,” he said. ”Savor that moment. You don’t have to run a 40, you don’t have to do bench presses, you ain’t got to do none of that. All you have to do is deliver something I think a lot of people want to hear.
”And so, whether it becomes my greatest (speech) or not, I’ll tell you this: it will have people and myself on a roller coaster that we will never forget.”