It’s the end of an era in Vancouver, as Daniel and Henrik Sedin have announced that this season will be their last.

The twins made the announcement Monday in a letter posted to the Canucks’ website.

The Sedins spent 18 seasons with the franchise after being selected second and third overall in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. Then-general manager Brian Burke was able to swing a deal with the Atlanta Thrashers, swapping the number one overall pick to the team for the second overall pick. The Thrashers drafted Patrik Stefan and the rest is history.

Goodness, it seems like ages ago.

The 37-year-olds transformed the face of hockey in Vancouver – in this city – and left an indelible impression despite some very uneasy years.

Daniel, for the record, was the second overall pick in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. He currently sits with 1,038 points in 1,303 regular season games. He has 391 career goals and 647 career assists.

In 102 career playoff games, Daniel Sedin has 71 points – including 25 goals and 46 assists.

Henrik, drafted third overall in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, has 1,068 points in 1,327 regular season games. He has 240 goals and 828 assists.

In 105 playoff games, Henrik Sedin has 78 points – including 23 goals and 55 assists.

The Sedins may never have taken home hockey’s ultimate prize, falling short by just a hair in 2010-2011, but they accumulated a host of accomplishments along the way and have nothing to be ashamed of. They hold two Art Ross trophies, a Hart, a Ted Lindsay, and a wealth of individual and team accolades.

And now, with three games to go in Vancouver, they’re turning toward the new generation of Canucks. They’re ready to step aside in the same way they played the game all these years: with uncommon poise.

“We’re saying it now because we want to share these final three games with you,” says the letter. “We also want to share these games with our families, friends, teammates, coaches, trainers, staff and everyone at the Canucks who have supported us. You’ve all been with us every step of the way, and we want to thank you.”

The Canucks will play their final home game of the season Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes. And despite how things have gone this year, there will be plenty to celebrate as two of hockey’s finest finish their careers with class.

18 years ago, we were introduced to Napster for the first time and The Matrix dominated the box office and Britney Spears wanted to get hit one more time. The New York Yankees won the World Series, Vince Carter was named NBA Rookie of the Year in Toronto and Maple Leaf Gardens closed its doors to ice hockey.

18 years ago, out here in Vancouver, we were introduced to Daniel and Henrik Sedin. And now 18 years later, we’re grateful we got to know them.

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