With Canucks training camp just around the corner, much of the talk going forward will be the question of which Canuck is going to resurrect his career this season. Jeff Tambellini? Joel Perrault? Raffi Torres? Kevin Bieksa? One could make a case for each of these, and that's good. Mike Gillis is hoping the desperation of these talented near-washouts is going to augment competition, and hopefully propel one or more of these once highly-touted players to great heights. But, if there's one player who's really seen his stock fall, one player who I think has the sack (so not Salo) to return to the glory of his youth, it's Daniel Sedin. Quit your tittering; I'm deadly serious. Daniel Sedin will be out for blood this season.
Until last season, Daniel was arguably the better Sedin. Sure, he and his brother's point totals were effectively interchangeable, but he tallied more goals than Henrik in 8 of their 9 NHL seasons together. And, since "he doesn't shoot the puck enough" is a much more common critique of a player than "he doesn't pass the puck even though he's three feet from the goal-mouth enough", Daniel has typically coasted on a stream of goodwill while Henrik gets a tongue-lashing for his unselfishness. Yes, the points were about the same, but, you know, goals.
That all changed this season, when Daniel went down with an injury and Henrik wound up scoring the same amount of goals as his brother, so basically, Daniel was no longer contributing anything and Henrik was carrying him. Not that famously unselfish Henrik would have minded carrying his brother, but the league took notice that one Sedin was great and the other sucked so hard. I mean, check out Henrik's amazing pass and Daniel's lousy tap-in on this play. Henrik went on to win the Hart trophy. The media lobbied for him to be given the captaincy. Henrik became beloved. Meanwhile, even though Daniel Sedin's point per game totals were higher, he was buried--basically forgotten. Recently, the Hockey News named Henrik Sedin the 6th best player in the NHL. Daniel? Basically spat on with an 11th place ranking, as though saying, "You're nothing, Daniel!"
Yesterday on the Team 1040, Dave Pratt asked Daniel how he and his brother can possibly follow up the remarkable season they had last year. Daniel responded by reminding Pratt that, hey, we haven't won anything yet. Then he paused. "Well, I haven't." He said, with his typically dry humour. But wait: was it dry humour or was it the flaming sword of spite? We can't know for sure, so it's likely the more incendiary one. As an unofficial member of the Vancouver media, I think we should roll with it.
So you heard it here first. Daniel Sedin hates his brother (E4). And why wouldn't he? They're twins with nearly identical career totals, but suddenly, Henrik is the superstar? It's bogus. Henrik is the one getting trophies and wicked photoshops. Henrik is the one who was shown respect with an "A" last season, and has been talked about for the "C" this season. And if he gets it, what will Daniel get? Likely, a pitiful "A". How disrespectful.
Henrik is the one called Henrik. Daniel? They call him "Brother Daniel", like a second-rate citizen, or a monk (society's self-made second-rate citizen). He's more than just Henrik's brother, you know; Henrik is also his brother. So there.
Even when Henrik gets insulted, it's actually directed at Daniel. "Your brother is ugly," says Adam Burish. Sure, Henrik can get upset about what's implied, because he has a similar look, but what about was said? Who's standing up for Daniel? Not Darcy Hordichuk, because he's not in the lineup that day. Why not? Because nobody thinks about Daniel Sedin. It's time for Daniel to think about himself. Stop helping your brother by scoring goals. Score goals to spite him.
I personally guarantee you that Daniel Sedin is going to be downright motivated this season. It's time he put his brother back in his place. Mark my words: Daniel Sedin is out for blood.