Sedins debate pucks, bad habits, Mrs. Tiger Woods
In this week's Facing Off, the 26-year-old Sedin brothers tell us what happens when the Vancouver Canucks' coaches can't tell them apart, why their small hometown has NHL scouts spending winters in Sweden and what would happen if they ever dropped the gloves with each other.
Question from David Amber: Your hometown in Sweden is Ornskoldsvik, a town of just 60,000 people. Still, it has become a hockey factory, producing the likes of Peter Forsberg, Niklas Sundstrom and Markus Naslund. What is it about this town that turns kids into hockey stars?
Answer from Henrik Sedin: Growing up, everyone basically plays hockey and soccer, but we only have a third-division soccer team in our hometown, but we have an elite league team in hockey, so hockey is the biggest sport there by far. It was set up so that you can go to school and also practice hockey during the day, so that's a big reason, too.
Q: Who is the biggest hockey star from your hometown?
Answer from Daniel Sedin: I would say it's Forsberg; he's probably had the most success over the years. Of course, Markus Naslund, too, has been doing pretty good.
Henrik: Yeah, I agree. We play with Markus over here, you can see he is a huge star in the NHL, but back home, Peter is the biggest star.
|Fast Facts -- Daniel and Henrik Sedin|
• Henrik is the older twin by six minutes.
• Daniel was selected second overall in the 1999 NHL entry draft by the Vancouver Canucks.
• Henrik was selected third overall in the 1999 NHL entry draft by the Vancouver Canucks.
• The twins join Peter Forsberg, Markus Naslund and Niklas Sundstrom as NHL players born in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, a small town 400 miles north of Stockholm.
• The twins helped Sweden win the gold medal at the 2006 Winter Games in Torino.
Q: I grew up in an era when the first Swedish stars in the NHL were guys like Borje Salming and Anders Hedberg. Who would you say is the biggest hockey star ever from Sweden?
Daniel: That's a toss-up between Borje Salming and Forsberg. Borje started the whole migration of Swedish players to North America, and Forsberg has been the best player in the world the last six or seven years.
Henrik: You have to add Mats Sundin to that list. I think he is an unbelievable player and is really underrated. He has never played with superstar wingers, Forsberg has always had good linemates, but I think Mats hasn't had that type of talent around him and still he always puts up the big numbers, too.
Q: Former Canucks GM Brian Burke made a draft-day deal to select both of you back in 1999. How prepared were you for the thought of playing on different teams?
Daniel: I remember expecting to play on different teams, actually. All the talk before the draft was that there was no way we would be able to play together, so we were ready to be apart. Then, five minutes before the draft, Thomas Gradin, the European scout for the Canucks, came up to us and told us that they were going to draft us both, so that was pretty exciting.
Q: You guys have played together since you were 8 years old. What's been the best part of that?
Daniel: Just knowing what the other guy is going to do. Everyone thinks we know each other because we're twins, but it has more to do with playing together for so long.
Q: Do you guys ever think you'll play on different teams?
Henrik: We really never think that way. I hope not, we like playing together. It's hard to say with trades and everything, so who knows what will happen when we're older.
Daniel: We love Vancouver and this is where we want to be, so hopefully we can play our whole careers here.
Q: Who on the Canucks still has trouble telling you apart?
Daniel: Everyone says they can tell us apart, but I doubt it [laughs]. The players aren't too bad, but the coaches have a tough time. Sometimes they're yelling at me, but they think I'm Henrik.
Q: So what do you do?
Henrik: We just take it, and then go tell the other guy what the coach said.
Q: What do players on other teams say to you guys?
Henrik: Players usually say something funny. They come up to me and say "You're way better looking than your brother" [laughs]. And then I say "I know."
Q: Last season, you played with Anson Carter on a line affectionately called "The Brothers Line." How did he influence you on and off the ice?
Daniel: He helped keep us focused. He told us to have fun, but he was also really prepared, he would always watch loads of tape before games, working on the power play and things like that.
Henrik: Off the ice, he tried to get us into hip-hop music and things like that. We tried to do our hair in dreadlocks like his, but it didn't work out [laughs].
Q: If you could choose one NHL player from another team to play with you on a line, who would it be?
Henrik: I would say [Jaromir] Jagr for sure. He is a great player.
Daniel: Jagr is on his game right now. I think he would be amazing to play with, but we're having fun with Markus right now.
Q: What do you remember most about winning Olympic gold for Sweden last February?
Daniel: Just being at the Olympics was amazing, seeing all the athletes was really cool. And at the same time, the feeling we had in the locker room, it was this feeling that we just couldn't lose, it was unbelievable. I don't know how we got that feeling, but it was the best.
Q: You room together on the road. Who has the most annoying habits?
Daniel: Henrik sleeps in all the time, so I have to be in charge of the alarms in the room. He will shut off all the alarms and sleep in. It has happened a few times, actually.
Henrik: Whatever. Daniel is crazy. If the team bus is set to leave at 10:30, he will be on the bus at 9:45 waiting to go. He has to get over that.
Q: At the time of this interview, you guys had only one career point separating you [243 points for Henrik, 242 points for Daniel]. How closely do you know what the other guy is doing?
Daniel: First of all, Henrik has played a few more games than me [laughs]. I think the last two or three years we have always been just a few points apart, so we follow it pretty closely, but we don't care too much about it.
Henrik: The points race is fun for us. Our teammates bring it up before every game. In everything we do, we're competitive, whether it's tennis or golf or hockey, we're competitive. I think it's a thing good because we push each other to do better.
Q: It sounds like a friendly sibling rivalry, but what happened in 1999 when Daniel was selected one pick ahead of you, Henrik?
Henrik: Well "D" comes before "H" in the alphabet, so that's what happened.
Daniel: I think they made the right choice [laughs].
Q: So, which pair of twins is more famous in Sweden, you two or Elin Nordegren [Tiger Wood's wife] and her sister?
Henrik: I know who's more beautiful, and that's not us [laughs]. We've never met them before. It would be nice to meet Tiger, too.
Q: What about another set of NHL twins -- have you met Ron and Rich Sutter?
Daniel: A few years back during the World Championships in Norway, one of them came up to us and talked about being a twin in the NHL and the pressure that comes with it. So it was nice to know someone else has done what we're doing.
Q: But you don't remember which twin came up to you?
Daniel: No, no clue. Those guys look alike [laughs].
Q: So let me ask you guys some quick questions, and I want both of you to agree on an answer. Who is the better dresser?
Daniel: It's Henrik.
Henrik: I agree.
Q: Who is most likely to cry watching a movie?
Daniel: Oh, god. I have never cried watching a movie. Henrik, have you?
Henrik: [Long pause.] I might have cried once or twice.
Q: Who is better looking?
Henrik: Daniel got all the girls when we grew up in school, so it has to be Daniel.
Q: Who is the better skater?
Q: Who has more raw talent?
Henrik: That's a tough one. If I had to pick one of us, I would say Daniel.
Daniel: I would say Henrik. So we disagree.
Q: When is the last time you had an argument?
Henrik: This morning.
Q: About what?
Henrik: Who would call down to order breakfast in the hotel. I won. We had a sports quiz with soccer questions and I know more than Daniel, so he lost.
Q: Favorite TV show?
Henrik: We both love Conan O'Brien. We redheads stick together.
Daniel: Yeah, he's great.
Q: Favorite NHL city to visit?
Daniel: Chicago, New York and Phoenix are the best three.
Henrik: If we had to pick one, I think Chicago, that is a great city.
Q: Who wins a fight between you two?
Henrik: Oh, that's me for sure. If I get mad at Daniel, I will beat him up for sure.
Daniel: Yeah, he will beat me easily.
Q: When's the last time you guys had a fist fight?
Daniel: Never. It was always us against our two older brothers, so we would team up.
Q: Personalitywise, what's the biggest difference between you two?
Henrik: Growing up, Daniel was more social. He would always be out seeing friends, I would be home watching television and relaxing.
Q: If you could spend a day as your brother, what would you do?
Daniel: Probably use his credit cards. I'd go on a big shopping spree [laughs].
Henrik: I would drive his Escalade.
Q: You guys currently are the top two scorers on the Canucks. Who is going to finish on top?
Daniel: We can agree on that.
ESPN reporter David Amber is a frequent contributor to ESPN.com.
MORE NHL HEADLINES
- Bruins add NHL vet Sacco to coaching staff
- Eller agrees to 4-year deal with Canadiens
- Avalanche announce 2-year deal for O'Reilly
- Islanders, Poulin agree to one-year contract