Wednesday night in Vancouver was a special evening.
Two of the greatest Canucks to ever play had their jerseys retired — commemorating 17 seasons of brilliance on and off the ice. And while watching the No. 22 of Daniel Sedin and No. 33 of Henrik Sedin raised to the rafters of Rogers Arena at the end of an hour-long ceremony was definitely a memorable moment, it was Kevin Bieksa’s speech that had people talking.
A teammate of the twins from 2005 to 2015, Bieksa knows the duo well. His decision to subtly roast two of the classiest players to play in the NHL was one the crowd loved and provided some insight on the Sedin brothers that few likely were aware of.
His entire speech, which has gained over 300,000 views on Twitter since being posted to the Canucks’ account on Wednesday night, is below. We’ll be sure to pick out some the highlights for you, though.
“You know how we’d all come to our first training camp in good shape?” Bieksa asked shortly after establishing the tone of his time with the microphone. “Well, Hank (Henrik) never got that memo. He brought an extra 15 pounds with him instead... And then there’s Danny. He has a legitimate candy addiction. He eats half of his body weight in sour keys and Swedish berries every Saturday.
“But that’s not important! That’s not relevant,” Bieksa added with a sly grin.
The twins quickly became known in the hockey world for their fantastic connection on the ice. It’s like they had a sixth sense for where the other was at all times. That was a big reason why both finished their careers with over 1,000 regular-season points and an Art Ross Trophy.
Many believed what the pair could accomplish while buzzing in the offensive zone together had to do with the large amount of time the two spent together on and off the ice. Bieksa decided to reveal the truth behind the magic.
“I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but part of the reason that they always knew where the other was on the ice is because they wore an earpiece,” Bieksa said.
“And they talked to each other and they told each other when they were open. And I approached them the one time and I said, ‘what is that?’ And they said, ‘we have a word in Sweden that we use to explain it.’ What was it again? Oh yeah! Cheating!”
Bieksa’s speech wasn’t just seven minutes of jokes and light-hearted ribbing, though. He finished it off with some touching words about how accountable the two were despite the pressure that comes with being a star in a Canadian market and the amazing people that they were away from the game.
“In 20 years, there will still be a Sedin flavour to this organization and a Sedin culture in that dressing room and that’s something that will transcend any on-ice statistics that they have,” Bieksa sais to an enormous cheer.
An occasional analyst for Sportsnet and the co-host of a podcast with former Canucks and Anaheim Ducks teammate Ryan Kesler, Bieksa rightfully got some love for the comedic twist he added to the night. However, once the final buzzer sounded, it was a Swede that had stolen the spotlight from everybody as goaltender Jacob Markstrom made 49 saves in Vancouver’s 3-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks — a new franchise record for most saves in a shutout.
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