Who's this guy?
Position: Left Wing
Weight: 187 lbs.
Born: Sept 26, 1980 in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden
History: Drafted #2 overall in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks
What'd he do?
This is a tough season to measure due to the truncated schedule. Daniel put up 40 points in 47 games, and while that's far from bad, it extrapolates to 70 points in a full season, which would be his lowest total in 82 games since 2006. Daniel finished second on the team in goals with 12, which again puts him on pace for his lowest total in 8 seasons. A big reason for his decline in production was the woeful power play, which finished 22nd in the league and at one point was dead last.
So was he any good?
Though his numbers declined, Daniel still had 13 more points than the guy behind him in team scoring (Jannik Hansen). Without Ryan Kesler and David Booth for much of the season, the Sedins carried the Canucks offensively.
Something that probably contributed to Daniel's lower production but can actually be looked at as a positive is the fact he took on a much tougher defensive assignment this season than in years past. Without Ryan Kesler or a reliable 3rd line centre, Alain Vigneault couldn't deploy his forwards the way he's used to, and thus relied on the Sedins to take on more defensive responsibilities. "Corsi RelQoC" is a statistic that measures a player's quality of competition based on Corsi ratings; if a player has a rating of around 1.000 or higher they're playing against some very good players night in and night out. Daniel finished the season at 0.993. Compare that to his most successful offensive season in 2010-11 when his rating was 0.174. His offensive zone start % was way down this season as well: 66% compared to an absurd 74.5% in 2010-11.
Of all left wingers who played at least 40 games, Daniel finished just outside the top 10 in quality of competition. Meanwhile he still generated a ton of offensive chances, finishing 6th amongst NHL forwards with a Corsi rating of 24.71. These are the kinds of numbers that are usually reserved for perennial Selke Trophy candidates (to compare, the man who will win the Selke this year, Patrice Bergeron, had a Corsi RelQoC rating of 0.627 and a Corsi rating of 26.62). If Daniel and Henrik can continue to prove to be reliable defensive players as they age, that only makes them more valuable.
What'd we like?
Here are a few of my favourite Daniel moments from this season. The goal against the Hawks which led to Duncan Keith's unfortunate run-in with a female reporter:
Canucks Vs Hawks - Daniel Sedin 3-0 Goal - 04.22.13 - HD (via CanucksHD)
The goal against the Kings in what was one of the team's strongest performances of the season:
Canucks Vs Kings - Daniel Sedin 3-2 Goal - 03.02.13 - HD (via CanucksHD)
The perfect bankshot goal against Detroit:
Canucks at Wings - Daniel Sedin 2-2 Goal - 02.24.13 - HD (via CanucksHD)
Daniel also moved into 2nd place on the Canucks all-time scoring list:
Daniel Sedin becomes Canucks all-time second highest scorer (Apr 22, 2013) (via Canucks)
Cool. So what did we hate?
The power play was awful this season, and some of that blame lands on Daniel and Henrik. That said, I think it had more to do with some bizarre coaching decisions and an ill-informed structure than a decline in ability from the Sedins. It's been said over and over, but failing to incorporate Jason Garrison's booming point shot onto the top unit made no sense, and neither did having Daniel work the point with Alex Edler.
That was the only real weakness in Daniel's game. He was dynamite at even strength as pointed out above.
So what now?
2013-14 will be a watershed year for Daniel Sedin and his brother. They'll turn 33-years-old, and their contracts will expire in the summer of 2014. They both expressed their intention of remaining in Vancouver, but what will the dollars look like? The term? My expectation is they will be career Canucks, but Mike Gillis has to make some major decisions on both the immediacies and the future of the team in the next year.
Are the Sedins still capable of carrying an offense? When will the transition year inevitably come when they are no longer 1st line NHL players? We're not at that stage yet, but next year is when these and other tough questions will need to be asked.