LANGLEY, British Columbia — The Vancouver Canucks played like a different team in their first game under coach Rick Tocchet, according to Henrik and Daniel Sedin.
The Hockey Hall of Fame forwards, who played their entire NHL careers with the Canucks and work in player development for the organization, were impressed by what the players showed. in the 5-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks at Rogers Arena on Tuesday.
“I thought they played as a team and they played hard,” Henrik said Wednesday. “There’s been a lot of negativity in the last couple weeks, but I think there’s really good people in place in the organization right now. They want to try to change the culture and what we stand for. It was going to take time and it takes time, but I think we’re on the right track.”
Tocchet was hired Sunday after Bruce Boudreau was fired as coach. During his introductory press conference, Tocchet said he spoke to the Sedins to get their impressions of how the Canucks have been playing.
“It was nice,” Henrik said. “He didn’t have to do that. But I think it’s important in an organization that we’re all working for the same goal. There’s no egos around the team, and we’re all trying to get to the same place and we “re working together. That feels really good now with this organization.”
After retiring in 2018 following 17 seasons with Vancouver, the Sedins were hired as special advisers to the general manager on June 22, 2021. The twin brothers transitioned into their current role on May 30.
They work on the ice two or three times per week with prospects playing with Abbotsford of the American Hockey League and are available for skill work with the Canucks when the team is home.
Whether their role changes as Tocchet gets settled in Vancouver remains to be seen, but the Sedins are open to anything that helps the Canucks succeed.
“We came back to this organization to help,” Daniel said. “We want this organization to win and for him to reach out and ask us what we saw, I think it meant a lot to us. We’ll try to be as much involved as he wants us to be.”
The Sedins were here as guest coaches for the 2023 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at Langley Events Center on Wednesday, Henrik with Team Red and Daniel with Team White.
The Canucks (19-26-3) lost their second game under Tocchet, 6-1 at the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday, but the Sedins hope things can turn around over the final three months of the season.
“I think anytime you make a coaching change, you’re going to get that first reaction from the players and obviously that reaction was good,” Daniel said. “Now it’s about getting it day in and day out, and I think that’s the most challenging thing. A lot of positives from [Tuesday]. I think when this team becomes good, you’re going to see those habits day in and day out.”