Vancouver Canucks forwards Daniel and Henrik Sedin aren’t in the twilight of their career, but they aren’t young anymore either.
At the age of 32, the twins have frequently been on squads capable of winning the Stanley Cup. They even came within one win of capturing the Cup in 2011, but they have never claimed it. Now, as the Canucks prepare for their series against the San Jose Sharks, they appreciate more than ever just how finite their number of remaining opportunities is.
“We had good teams for a number of years now and you never know how it’s going to go next year,” Daniel said, according to the Calgary Sun. “It’s one thing everyone was talking about when we first came into the league but you didn’t realize that back then. Time is going to fly by … and there’s not so many chances left. You just have to enjoy it and try to win.”
Henrik noted that the Canucks’ core has gathered plenty of postseason experience over their previous runs. That gives Henrik confidence in their preparation, but at the same time he also echoed his brother’s remarks.
“Our first couple years, you went into the playoffs and everything was fun, it was a great experience and you learned from it,” Henrik said. “But you never thought about it being your last time around and your last chance. Now you do.”
Of course, there are star players on the San Jose Sharks who likely feel the same way. Captain Joe Thornton is 33 years old and searching for his first Stanley Cup. So is Sharks forward Patrick Marleau.
Both of these teams have been consistently great in the regular season for years, but have fallen short in the playoffs. With time running out for both dynasties, there should be a lot of passion in this series.
Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?
We’ll know in a month.
Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:
The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.
The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.
If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.
Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”
And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.
While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.
Bit of uncertainty out of Vancouver regarding the health of backup goalie Jacob Markstrom.
Markstrom, a late drop from the Canucks’ 5-1 opening-night win over Calgary, has suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him sidelined for another week, the club announced on Thursday.
With Markstrom out, backup duties will stay with AHL call-up Richard Bachman, who served as Ryan Miller‘s No. 2 on Wednesday.
Now, the focus turns to how long Bachman keeps those duties.
Per a Sportsnet report, Markstrom could miss up to three weeks of action with his injury. If that’s the case, Bachman will almost certainly be called into action; the Canucks will play eight games in 17 nights starting with Saturday’s home-opener against the Flames, which includes back-to-backs in Los Angeles and Anaheim on Oct. 12 and 13.
It would be asking a lot of the No. 1, 35-year-old Ryan Miller, to shoulder that entire load.
Bachman does have some NHL experience, with nearly 50 games to his credit. That includes a 3-2-0 record with the Oilers last year, in which he posted a 2.84 GAA and .911 save percentage.