On Wednesday night when the Vancouver Canucks forever immortalized Henrik and Daniel Sedin by retiring their numbers, many former linemates were in attendance. One of them, however, was at the Adirondack Bank Center helping his team defeat Laval.
Utica Comets assistant coach Jason King played on a line with the Sedin’s during the 2003-04 season and remembers his time playing along the twins as some of the most memorable of his life, and it was easy to identify that they were special compared to others.
“I think I had a big part in making them who they are,” King said with a sarcastic laugh. “They’re tremendous hockey players and I’m pretty fortunate and blessed to say I had the opportunity to play with them.
“From a hockey sense, hockey skill, and puck possession standpoint they were ahead of their time. We had a great chemistry and sort of read and fed off each other for a while.”
Apart from the otherworldly skill that they brought to the ice every night, the power of the Sedin’s was their involvement in the Vancouver community, and that made a lasting impact on King.
“They went above and beyond both in the community and within the dressing room,” King added. “They’re quiet leaders but it was always team first. Even at a young age you could see those qualities within them and it’s a reason why they went on to be captain and assistant captain.”
And while the twins are identical, both in physical appearance and often-times how they act, King was able to learn a bit more about Henrik during the ’03-’04 season.
“I got to room with Henrik on the road so I got to know him a little more than Daniel in that way,” he said. “They split them up and I was with Henrik which was great because it made it easy for me to tell the difference between both guys!”
Dubbed “The Mattress Line” with two twins and a King playing together, the trio began to click after playing together for a few months and the local media decided it was worthy of a catchy title.
“It was different and unique and (The Mattress Line) caught on,” King said. “People still bring it up and it’s fun to be a part of something like that.”
And while most twins pull pranks with the old switcheroo, the Sedin’s sense of humor was a little more thought out. None of that was more notable than the “Swedish Twins” commercial from 2007.
“They liked to have fun, that’s the thing,” King remembered. “They were serious when they came to the rink and made sure the job was getting done on their side and within the team. When there was a time to have fun and relax and enjoy the game, they did it. It went with their personality throughout their career.”
Like most that spoke last night during the pregame ceremony before Vancouver’s tilt with Chicago, King shares a similar sentiment. That playing with the Sedin’s was special on every single occasion, and that knowing them as humans was just as fulfilling.
“It was completely my pleasure to have the opportunity to play with them,” he added. “They went on to have tremendous careers and I wish them nothing but the best.”