I was thinking about the twins, and though my dedicated readers know I am praying to the hockey gods they split up, it seems likely they won't. It does seem likely, however, they won't be returning to the beautiful city of Vancouver and to play in front of the Cup crazed fans. Trevor Linden and company are ready to start over, find a new identity for the Canucks, and bring them their first Stanley Cup.
When the 1999 NHL draft rolled around, Tampa had the first pick, Atlanta had #2, Vancouver# 3, and Chicago the 4th. Canucks GM, Brian Burke, dreamed of drafting both twins and went on a magnificent, creative trading spree to make it happen. He first struck a deal with Chicago, and traded Bryan McCabe and a furture first rounder to Chicago for the 4th pick to give him a chance to take them, if they fell. Burke was nervous that Tampa or Atlanta would take one of the Sedins, so he traded two other picks and the 4th to Tampa for the top pick in the draft. Burke now had the 1st and 3rd, Atlanta had the 2nd, and Burke would leave no room for error. He traded the number one pick to Atlanta if they promised not to take a Sedin, which gave him the opportunity to select them with the 2nd and 3rd pick. Really, it was brilliantly devised and executed.
Daniel, the left winger was taken 2nd, Henrik, the center, was taken 3rd, and they've played together for 17 years. That's longer than the Jets have been back in Winnipeg and the Thrashers were in Atlanta. They've played a total of 2,473 games, scored and have 2,087 points. We pretty much know they won't be returning to Vancouver, they wasnt to be together, so who will be, and won't be interested.
15 Want- Arizona Coyotes
At first thought it seems like an odd match, but on second thought, why not? The Yotes were 27th in goals scored and an awful 26th on the power play. Though Domi had a poor, injury riddled season, they do have first line youth and talent that needs to make the jump. But the 2nd and 3rd lines are terrible and not cohesive. Why not put the twins on the 2nd line with Anthony Duclair, and move Jordan Martinook and Christian Dvorak to the third, which could cause opposing teams a more difficult matchup, especially at home.
It would also improve the power play, and they'd rock with fellow Swede, Ekman-Larsson. The Coyotes can make this happen, they have the climate, the empty seats, and the hot springs that may spark warmth and healing into their old bones. They'd fit in without an intrusive media and could go out in almost complete anonymity. They'd also bring discipline, professionalism, skill, and experience to a young, talented base.
14 14. Not Want- Philadelphia Flyers
No way, never going to happen, and it would be a complete disaster for both the team and players. The Flyers have to remain salary cap conscious, they have players coming up to provide offense as well as the back line. The Sedins would not want any of the pressure and not be happy with the media and fans, who would be so hard on the twins they might cry during press conferences. Furthermore, it would fly in the face of Hextall's attempt to bring players up from the minors, and they have too many arch enemies already in the line-up from Finland and Russia.
The entire Philly fan base has finally realized this is a Salary Cap era where costly veteran additions are a thing of the past. They haven't signed a big time UFA since Vinny Lecavalier.
13 Want- Calgary Flames
The Flames' early playoff beat down shows they need more skill, speed, and better goaltending. Their top two lines were often matched against a team's best defensive pairing, and adding the Sedins could improve an offense that ranked 16th. How about lining Tkachuk with the twins and let him crash the net or track down rebounds, and then build the 3rd line around Bennett. This would also give them a more dominant 2nd line power play, and take pressure off Johnny "Hockey" and Monahan. They also have youth working for them, and adding the Sedins can make them better now, and also give the kids some great experience. Come playoff time, when home and away match-ups become even more relevant, the Flames would be far more balanced.
12 Not Want- Washington Capitals
Though the Caps might start a rebuild and have plenty of Swedes the Sedins could hang out with, there are plenty of negatives surrounding the Caps. The Capitals have to be careful, and if they are going to blow this thing up, will they really get better by adding the vets? And do the twins really want to jump into a powder keg where their efforts will really just help them in the regular season and not the playoffs? The Caps have some offseason contracts to work on, and even if some of them walk, the Caps will need to bring up younger talent. Not only that, Barry Trotz's system is so defensively intense that at this point in their careers, I doubt they would want anything to do with it.
11 Want- Ottawa Senators
This is interesting because the Sens have a completely unbalanced offense and can only let their "trap" and streaky goaltending carry them so far. The Sens need offense, and the Sedins could rejuvenate Bobby Ryan, and let Stone, Dzingel, and Kelly take over the 3rd. Plus, the Sedins would love to play with Karlsson leading the power play. The twins would force teams to think more about their defensive matchups and not focus on Turris and Hoffman. With a healthy MacArthur, the Sens bottom 6 will be much deeper and they'll also have flexibility to switch line combinations. The Sens are an overachieving team, and it's about time management gives Karlsson more options. This would be a very cool bevy of Swedes for the Sens to unite and would definitely make the team deeper.
10 Not Want- Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins won't touch them and who can blame them. With the East getting younger and faster, the twins would take youth and prospects away from their offense. We've seen the offensive stars like Malkin, Crosby, and Kessel pair up with AHLers and make them play like All Stars, so although the twins would just add Harlem Globetrotters like talent, it just doesn't make sense.
The Penguins need defense and will most likely ante up for Justin Schultz. If Kris Letang goes on LTIR and they move Chris Kunitz or a goalie, they could also go all in for a defenceman. Though the Sedins would love to play with Pittsburgh's stars, Mike Sullivan has his own way of putting together lines and the Sedins would be bored with their minutes.
9 Want- Colorado Avalanche
This could be a nice fit for the Sedins. They could play together on the 2nd line, get consistent power play time, and they'd increase the entertainment value in the morgue. They also would have a ton of options of linemates, and the Avs need the help. They were last in offense, averaging 2.0 goals per game, and no one had over 5 power play goals. It's easy to blame Duchene and Landeskog, but with the way Sakic yo-yo'd them around it's no wonder their play suffered. By bringing in the Sedins, guys like Rantanen, Nieto, and Andrighetto can be moved up and down the lineup and see a third defensive pairing.
The power play lines would improve, and if they were to take it a step further, Sakic could still add Shattenkirk and a goalie to load the team up for next summer. With the aging twins, it would be a positive way of skating a watchable team while still looking toward the future, where fans would be living the high life in Denver.
8 Not Want- Tampa Bay Lightning
Not even fellow Swede, Victor Hedman, or beautiful Tampa Bay would be enough for the Sedins to consider the Bolts. First, they are up against the cap with multiple players to sign, and they need defense more than any other position. Even though the Lightning surprised a lot of teams with a terrific 2nd half and nearly made the playoffs, they have a huge, white elephant named Steven Stamkos. That panic signing, and most of us knew it would be, was terrible. He's aging fast, the injuries are not going away, and he's eating up money that could have attracted the Sedins. Consider that the twins would likely command identical salaries at a decent rate, there's no way Tampa would be able to appease both of them.
7 Want- Montreal Canadiens
The Habs are running out of time, they need scoring, and they might just mortgage their future to give Price and this team one more chance. They need scoring on the 2nd and 3rd lines, and they only had two players that scored over 50 pints. It's a common theme, but if someone like Brendan Gallagher lined up with the Sedins on the 2nd line, the opposition's defense and coach need to strategize their pairings. With Paul Byron, Phillip Danault, and Arturri Lehkonen used either together or throughout the lineup, the Canadiens won't need Price to have a goals against below 2.24. The Sedins would love this scenario, and though the media and fans can be brutal, there are enough vets to protect them.
6 Not Want- Boston Bruins
The Bruins are a tough team to read because as individuals, they are skilled and balanced. But as a team, they have lost their mojo and seem to not have enough come playoff time. On one hand, the Sedins could add depth and 2nd line consistency, bur Boston isn't patient and has other needs. Chara is literally on his last legs, and the B's need to focus on defense. The Sedins know they really won't work here because there are too many unknowns.
A lot of the Bruins have a ton of mileage, and are stuck in that area of disbelief- how good are they, really. That, doesn't get answered by bringing in two offensive players. If they decided to split, Henrik would be the better fit and allow Boston to square up their defense. But both, no way.
5 Want- San Jose Sharks
The Sharks are good, so would they think about replacing Thornton and Marleau, or even adding the Sedins for one last shot? Maybe. They are entering a time to make serious decisions with others, like Martin Jones's contract which is expiring in a year. The 1st round exit at the hands of the Oilers is a sign to come. The surprising fact is, that only Burns and Pavelski are stars, and that a team that also has Thornton, Marleau, and Couture was 19th in goals and an unbelievable 25th on the man advantage at just over 16%.
There are scoring holes on the 2nd power play unit and the lower 9, and the bottom 6 are as bad as they come. With the bulk of their lineup in their 30s and a below average farm team, management should lock them all into a room and offer them post retirement jobs for life, signed sticks for the kids, and a cruise to take a pay cut for 1 year and just go for it.
4 Not Want- Los Angeles Kings
I bet the Kings wish they could get rid of their first line dead weight, but they are right up on the cap with little maneuverability. The Kopitar signing will go down as one of the worst in history, Toffoli seems to be retrogressing and is softer than a Q-tip, which leaves them with only Jeff Carter as a possible trade chip to free up cap space. But even then, they're going to get older, not younger, and if the Sedins are going to play on a second line there are a ton of options that are closer to a cup and have"funner" (this should be a word) guys to play with. I'm sure the Sedins would love Los Angeles, but they have to be smart enough to know playing for this team would be a hard way to go.
3 Want- New York Islanders
One of the best fits for the Sedins, and don't be shocked if this happens. First, their GM is Garth Snow, who is the worst GM since Mike Milbury. Second, their power play was the 28th worst in the league. Third, in Tavares' last season in New York, he could easily sign with them long term to make it seem he really wants to build a winner and persuade #91 to stay. Jaroslav Halak and Travis Hamonic will go, free up some money, and he'll look like a genius until the third week, when their defense is the worst in the league and Greiss, without the fear of a real back up, will return to his true form as a backup. But Snow will sell the Sedins as bonafide stars in their prime, and match them on the first line. Then, Snow will finally be fired.
2 Not Want- Edmonton Oilers
It's bad enough the Sedins would sign with rivals San Jose and Calgary, but Edmonton? No way... unless... could the Oilers run Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins out of town and replace them with the Sedins? Food for thought maybe, but it won't happen. If and when the Oil throws them overboard, it will be to sign another defenceman and perhaps a scoring winger in his late 20s, not the twins. This is a mismatch in every way because the Sedins would be misplaced and misused on the third line and not see quality power play minutes.
The young Oilers are amazingly mature, and the Sedins really wouldn't be able to help them. If they were to split, Daniel would look good there, but it won't happen. The Oilers need hungry guys between 27-33, and the Sedins don't fit. The Sedins know where they'd play and contribute, and know that as a duo they'd sit here.
1 Want- New York Rangers
If the Rangers don't win the cup, or maybe even if they do, this works. Nash, Staal, and Brendan Smith could be moved to any number of teams, say Edmonton, Ottawa, Calgary, and the Sedins would be a perfect hometown pacifier for Henrik Lundqvist. This is also a strategy the Rangers love, to bring in aging vets for that one last hurrah. The window for #30 and this aging core is closing, so they could change it up, switch parts, and run Henrik until he's out of gas.
The Sedins would hate the media and the pressure, but they would get photo ops for GQ and fit nicely with the younger core of Zucarello, Kreider, and Stepan. By the time this Lunqvist and Sedin second wind would play out, the Rangers would still have a core in their prime to make another run.