By Elliot Chan, Staff Writer
On February 15, in a game against the Dallas Stars, Henrik Sedin surpassed Markus Naslund’s franchise record in points scored with 757. Although the Canucks eventually lost the game 4–3, it did not spoil the debate concerning the greatest Canuck of all time.
Among fans, there is no argument: Trevor Linden is still the idol in Vancouver. But realistically, what can Sedin do to over take him? The answer is simple: win a championship. The only way for any player to step out from Linden’s shadow is to reflect the light with the Stanley Cup. Then again, Sedin has done everything Linden did in less games played. Statistically, the only major area that Linden has the upper hand is in goals scored. Henrik is a playmaker, though he did show off his abilities to score in 2010 when his brother, Daniel went down with a leg injury. So, is it really so unfair to have this discussion?
Sedin has won the Art Ross and the Hart Memorial trophy, and led the Canucks to the Stanley Cup finals. But the term “led” is used loosely, because he has a notorious reputation of not showing up during pressure games. For most, it doesn’t matter what players do in the regular season, great players must bring their skills to do-or-die situations. Great players are clutch players. Unfortunately, Linden falls into the same category as Sedin. Both captained losing teams in the Stanley Cup Finals. The mirroring post-season experiences keep them on par with each other.
Besides coping with heartbreaking losses and being top draft picks, Sedin and Linden don’t have much in common. Sedin is Swedish, where as Linden is Canadian. I can’t speak for everyone, but in an international game where Canada is playing against the Swedes, it is a little difficult to cheer against Sedin. It plays a big part in Vancouver fans’ psyches. As shallow as it sounds, the best Canuck shouldn’t be a foreigner for that reason.
The other thing working against Sedin in respect of being the best Canuck is that he played most of his career with his identical twin right beside him. I’ve cheered them on for 13 years and still can’t tell them apart. For the longest time the debate was, who’s the better Sedin? They were neck and neck with points for so many years. One would pass and the other would score. Only recently did Henrik overtake Daniel in the race and earned recognition aside from being the other half of a scoring combination. Henrik Sedin will never be the greatest Canuck, because then what would Daniel be? They relied so heavily on each other their whole career it would be unfair to split them in such fashion.
Linden rose up the ranks, earned respect, and went through trials and adversity all on his own. That is why he is and always will be Captain Canuck to the city of Vancouver and Henrik Sedin, although he is currently wearing the “C” for captain, will always be paired up with his brother Daniel.