Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press
Vancouver Canucks forwards Henrik and Daniel Sedin have announced they will retire from the NHL after this season.
The twin stars broke the news in a letter posted to the team’s website Monday.
The 37-year-olds are in their 17th NHL campaign, all with Vancouver.
Heading into the final year of their contracts, the Sedins penned another open letter in the fall stating their desire to remain with the only franchise they’ve ever known — even if it meant forgoing the chance at a Stanley Cup elsewhere.
“It wouldn’t be the same,” Daniel Sedin told reporters after their post to The Players’ Tribune website back in September. “This city has meant so much to us.”
The twins said in Monday’s retirement letter they originally wanted to wait until after this season to make a decision, but decided the time was right to make the call.
“Many people were asking what the future holds,” the Sedins wrote. “We started the year with the mindset that a decision would be made in the post-season. But it became clear, after discussions with our families throughout the year, that this will be our last season. This feels right for all of us.”
The Sedins, who were set to hold a press conference in Vancouver later Monday, said they are looking forward to spending more time at home.
“It’s time to focus on our families and life after hockey,” they wrote. “It’s time to help with homework every night. It’s time to be at every birthday party and to stand in the cold at every hockey rink, soccer game and riding lesson on weekends.
“It’s time to be at home for dinner every night.”
Selected second and third overall at the 1999 draft after the Canucks made a series of trades in order to grab both players, the Sedins have been the face of the franchise for more than a decade.
Their vision and ability to find each other on the ice often left opponents shaking their heads and gasping for air following a dominating shift in the offensive zone.
Two sure-fire Hall of Famers when their numbers are eventually called, Henrik Sedin has 1,068 points (240 goals, 828 assists) in 1,327 regular-season games, while Daniel Sedin has 1,038 points (391 goals, 647 assists) in 1,303 outings.
Henrik added 23 goals and 55 assists in 105 playoff games, with Daniel adding 25 goals and 46 assists in 102 games.
They were never able to bring a championship to the West Coast, but led Vancouver to within one game of winning the Cup in 2011.
Individual accolades, however, weren’t a problem.
Henrik Sedin won the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s top scorer in 2009-10 with 112 points before also capturing the Hart Trophy as league MVP.
Daniel Sedin then took Art Ross honours in 2010-11 with 104 points — Henrik had 94 points — and also grabbed the Ted Lindsay Award as the league MVP voted on by the players.
But that core that got so close to a title has been slowly stripped away, with the Sedins among the only players left.
Known for their tireless work in the community, as well as their class on and off the ice, the pair have remained committed to the Canucks through three straight miserable seasons as the team transitions to a younger core.
With players like Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat at the front of a new wave under the leadership of rookie head coach Travis Green, the Sedins said they feel they’re leaving the franchise in good hands.
“It’s time to let the next generation of young players lead the Canucks,” they wrote. “Travis is building a strong culture and emphasizes a style of play we know will be successful. The team is in great hands, with people who care about its success and it’s headed in the right direction. We know there is a bright future for the Canucks.”
Daniel Sedin has 21 goals and 31 assists in 78 games this season, while Henrik Sedin has three goals and 45 assists in 79 outings.
The Canucks have three games left on their schedule, beginning with Tuesday’s visit by the Vegas Golden Knights.
Vancouver then hosts the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday before wrapping up their season and the Sedins’ NHL careers Saturday in Edmonton against the Oilers.
“We’re (announcing) now because we want to share these final three games with you (fans),” the Sedins wrote. “We also want to share these games with our families, friends, teammates, coaches, trainers, staff and everyone at the Canucks who have supported us.
“You’ve all been with us every step of the way, and we want to thank you.”