The good thing about Daniel and Henrik Sedin's retirement ceremony yesterday at Rogers Arena being in the past is that you can stop pretending you've got something in your eye. The twins themselves might have avoided tearing up on their big night, but those in the stands and glued to the couch in front of the 55-inch Samsung 4K flatscreen weren't so lucky.
Major revelations during the hourlong tribute included that Ryan Kesler and Vancouver Canucks fans have officially put their ugly breakup behind them. Yes, it's good to be friends again. Kesler arrived back in the city he called home for 10 years afraid that he'd be given the kind of welcome normally reserved for Duncan Keith, Brad Marchand, and former Lay's chip-pimp Mark Messier. Instead, he received a truly heartfelt ovation.
Former 'Nucks defencemen Kevin Bieksa gave every indication he might make a pretty good standup comedian if his Kes & Juice podcast and Hockey Night in Canada guest appearances don't work out.
Still the most-loved Canuck of all time, Trevor Linden received the kind of extended standing ovation that must have left Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini wishing for a management redo. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was booed roundly and enthusiastically for reasons that probably included, but weren't limited to, his handling of the Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore incident, helping screw the Canucks out of the Stanley Cup in the 2011 final against Boston, and, most of all, continuing to be Gary Bettman.
And the delirious reception given dragon-slayer Alex Burrows reconfirmed what the likes of Matthew Tkachuk currently know to be true: the more hockey fans everywhere hate you, the more loved you are at home.
As for the twins, they proved every bit as unflappable and generally classy as they were during their Hockey Hall of Fame-worthy run with the Canucks from 2000-2018. They make their first appearance at the 14-minute-mark in the video above.
Interestingly, the night brought back at least one PTSD Sedin flashback—and no, we're not talking the 2011 cup loss, Duncan Keith's crosscheck, or Kelly Sutherland blowing it, yet again, in the first round of the 2012 playoffs against the San Jose Sharks.
Instead, the daughter of ex-Vancouver Canucks GM Brian Burke—who drafted Daniel and Henrik Sedin in Boston in 1999 after some fancy last-minute maneuvering on the trading floor—remembers the twins ruining her birthday. It says something about the way that the Sedins are regarded in this town that even that's forgiven, as you see in the Katie Burke tweet below.