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Daniel Sedin’s frustration does not mean he wants out

Winger calls out teammates for lack of effort.
Daniel Sedin
Daniel Sedin

The Sedins have become masters of spin over their years in the NHL, both on the ice, spinning opposing defenders with the cycle, and off the ice, spinning the Canucks’ lows into highs in the media. So, when one of the Sedins loses his relentless positivity, it gets noticed.

By Sedin standards, then, Daniel Sedin lit into his teammates after their loss on Saturday night, calling out the lack of effort. It was startling, to be sure, but if anyone has earned the right to speak that way, it’s Daniel, whose consistent effort game after game throughout his career is a model for his teammates.

The speculation after the game, both on social media and on TSN1040, was that Daniel’s frustration was a sign that the Sedins may have some new teammates in the near future. Do the Sedins want out? Have they had it with Vancouver? Is this the end of the road?

Slow your roll, folks, this has been a tad overblown.

Here’s the interview itself, starting at 2:00:

Those are definitely some strong comments: “The effort should always be there. It doesn’t matter where you are in the standings, what kind of team you are. That’s not good enough.”

When asked about the confidence of the Canucks’ youth, Daniel didn’t pull his punches: “Confidence, you get that from working hard. It’s not about points, it’s not about that, it’s about working hard. If they don’t have confidence, it’s because they don’t work hard enough.”

Regarding what needs to change: “This is too tough a league to just go out there and hope. You’ve got to work for you chances, you’ve got to work for your teammates. Once we realize that, I think we can be a good team.”

Combine Daniel’s interview with Elliotte Friedman’s post-game comments on Hockey Night in Canada and you get the perfect conditions for wild speculation.

Friedman put together a well-reasoned argument for why the Sedins and the Canucks should, at the very least, have a conversation about their future in Vancouver. He suggested it might be in their best interest to play for a contender for a couple seasons before returning to Vancouver to retire as Canucks.

He wasn’t suggesting that the Sedins and Canucks absolutely should part ways, though it’s understandable why he might have been misunderstood, as Nick Kypreos couldn’t keep his mouth shut for five seconds to let Friedman speak. If anyone should be frustrated enough with his teammates to leave, it’s Friedman.

To my ears, Daniel didn’t sound like someone who wanted out. Instead, it sounded like someone who plans on being here for many more seasons and wants to ensure that the younger players who he’ll be playing with for years to come are putting in the requisite effort and hard work to get the team back into contention before he retires.

It’s the same reason Henrik spoke out earlier in the season, subtweeting the Oilers:

“You don’t want to be happy with losing,” he told TSN 1040. “That’s a dangerous road to go down, especially with young guys coming in. We’ve seen other teams around us where it becomes okay to lose, and we can’t have that. You have to try and create a winning culture.”

That’s not a player that wants out of Vancouver; that’s a player who wants to stay in Vancouver and wants the team to be better in the near future.

You even saw the spin come back at the end for Daniel: “I think we can be a good team,” he said, but, y’know, they’re not. They’re not going to be a good team this season, at least, no matter how much effort they give. They have too many injuries, not enough skill, and not enough experience.

But they could be a good team, or at least a better team, next year. Or the season after. Or after that.

The Sedins should be there for all of them.