TORONTO (AP)Daniel Sedin has shared the spotlight with his brother ever since they stepped into the NHL.
With their playing careers over and one of the game’s biggest honors on the horizon, the younger sibling – by a whole six minutes – was front and center minus his twin Friday as the celebration for the Hockey Hall of Fame’s class of 2022 got underway.
Henrik Sedin is recovering from a bout with COVID-19 and wasn’t in attendance, but is expected to take part in the rest of the festivities ahead of Monday’s induction ceremony.
”He wanted to make sure that he was 100 percent,” Daniel Sedin said. ”We’ll have a good three, four days together. We’re together most days.”
He then added with a grin of his brother’s brief absence: ”Maybe it’s good, too.”
Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks teammate Roberto Luongo, former Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson and Bernice Carnegie, daughter of builder Herb Carnegie, received their Hall of Fame rings Friday.
Finnish women’s national team player Riikka Sallinen, who rounds out this year’s class, was also not in attendance.
The Sedin twins and Luongo were elected to the Hall in June in their first year of eligibility, while Alfredsson has waited since 2017.
”You never expect this to happen,” Daniel Sedin said. ”And then you get the call.”
Daniel and Henrik Sedin each played for Vancouver for 17 seasons. Daniel Sedin’s 393 goals ranks No. 1 in franchise history. He sits second in assists (648), points (1,041) and games played (1,306) to go along with 71 points in 102 playoff appearances, including Vancouver’s run to the 2011 Stanley Cup final.
”It’s the ultimate proof as a hockey player that you’ve done something good,” the 42-year-old said of being inducted.
”A big honor.”
Selected No. 3 overall at the 1999 draft – one spot behind his younger brother – Henrik Sedin is the Canucks’ career leader in assists (830), points (1,070) and games played (1,330).
The center won the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP and the Art Ross Trophy in 2009-10. He added 23 goals and 78 points in 105 playoff games.
Luongo, who played eight seasons with the Sedins in Vancouver, joked he’d have to wait for Henrik to arrive in Toronto before getting out a deck of cards.
”He’s the best sponsor,” the 43-year-old joked of his former captain’s poker ability.
Luongo was drafted by the New York Islanders and retired with the Florida Panthers, but the goaltender had his best days on the West Coast.
He ranked third in NHL history with 489 wins when he retired and sits second behind Martin Brodeur in games played (1,044), shots against (30,924) and saves (28,409).
The quick-witted netminder led Canada to Olympic gold in Vancouver in 2010 before backing up Carey Price in Sochi four years later in another podium-topping performance.
”You look around and see all the plaques, you see all the names,” Luongo said. ”It’s pretty special.”
Alfredsson registered 444 goals, 713 assists and 1,157 points during his 18 NHL seasons, including 17 with the Senators. He added 100 points in 124 playoff contests.
Set to turn 50 next month, Alfredsson was left on the outside his first four years of Hall eligibility before the 2021 class was scrapped because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
”Surreal,” he said of the experience since learning he would be enshrined. ”It’s humbling. It’s been a few months since we knew about it, but now this weekend coming up, having family and friends around, it’s starting to really hit you.”
An Olympic bronze medalist 20 years apart in 1998 and 2018, Sallinen played 16 seasons with her national team.
Carnegie, who died in 2012 at age 92, has often been called the best Black hockey player to never play in the NHL.
Following a long career in senior leagues where he faced racism that kept him from achieving his ultimate NHL dream, Carnegie founded Future Aces, one of Canada’s first hockey schools, in 1955.
”This moment isn’t just about our family because my father affected millions of young people,” Bernice Carnegie said. ”Everything he put into hockey, everything he put into the community, for him now to be here, I feel a sense of peace.
”He belongs here.”
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