Originally published on December 18,2010, “Daniel’s Worst Christmas” is a poetic retelling of the Canucks’ 2009-10 regular season in which an injury to Daniel Sedin led to a Hart trophy season for his twin brother, Henrik. But that wasn’t the whole story.
With Christmas only days away, we thought we’d bring this one back from the archives. Granted, some of its jokes are a year-old (but the Calgary Flames remain bad, so that one still works), and it remains a poem, unfortunately, but you might still find it worth your time. Enjoy “Daniel’s Worst Christmas.”
In early October, when Santa is plotting
His route for the big Christmas nights
He looks to his wife, who is expert at spotting
Potentially huge oversights.
But last year, when Santa approached her to study
His game plan, he found she was sick.
With worriment said he, “I must find a buddy,
To stand in for Mrs. St. Nick!”
He looked in his workshop, but nobody in there
Was quite up to filling the gap.
He checked in the stable, but only saw reindeer.
Just antlers and caribou crap.
He looked on his good list, and there saw a brother,
The most loyal he’d ever seen.
A Swede who could play right-hand man like no other:
Canucks’ winger, Daniel Sedin.
“Oh ho!” said he, “Daniel’s a true second fiddle!”
He laughed a laugh heard North Pole-wide.
“His twin brother Henrik’s the guy in the middle,
But Daniel just stays at his side!”
So down to Vancouver went Santa, with moxie.
Without Daniel, Christmas was sunk!
The first place he looked was the back of the Roxy.
He only found Patrick Kane, drunk.
Eventually, Santa found Daniel, inhaling
A huge cup of coffee, straight black.
He told Sedin how Mrs. Claus had been ailing,
And begged him to come with him back.
“I can’t go,” said Daniel, politely refusing,
“We’ll lose if I’m not there to score.
But Santa shrugged, “Thirty-nine seasons of losing?
Canuck fans can lose a few more.”
“Commissioner Bettman won’t go for this, you’ll see,”
Said Daniel, “His heart’s black as coal.
If Bettman won’t let us play hockey in Sochi,
He won’t let me near the North Pole.”
“I know Bettman well,” Santa said, nearly stewing,
“He once was my most cloddish elf.
I fired him for bungling. But, looks like he’s doing,
Incredibly well for himself.”
“Forget him,” said Santa, “Your presence is vital!
A world without Christmas is close!
The wave of dashed hopes and distress would be tidal,
Like when Lafayette hit the post.”
“We’ll tell all the fans that your foot’s broken. Tragic,
But they’ll understand. Whereupon,
I’ll bless your twin brother with Santa Claus magic.
He’ll play twice as good while you’re gone!”
“Well, not too good,” Daniel said, “Too good’s forbidden.”
He chuckled, then let out a scoff.
“He once got an all-star invite but I didn’t.
It’s petty, but that pissed me off.”
“I don’t want to see Henrik winning a trophy,
Or even worse, two! That’d be grim!
To save face, I might have to pay off Mike Brophy,
To say that I’m better than him. “
Thus, Daniel Sedin headed back to the fact’ry,
To tend to St. Nick’s sudden need.
And Henrik Sedin started scoring, exactly
As Kris Kringle’s blessing decreed.
And Santa, with Daniel on board, resumed making
His Christmas list, checking it twice.
He started by sorting the presents, and taking
Full stock of the naughty and nice.
“As usual, Pronger’s been naughty,” said Santa,
“His elbows and stomps make me cross.
Perhaps I could get him a trade to Atlanta,
Or better: a cup finals loss.”
“And what should I get for the Calgary Sutters?
So long as they’re running the thing,
Their team might appreciate fancy new putters
To help pass the time every spring.”
“For Lou Lamoriello, a big piece of charcoal
Named Ilya. He’ll be highly-sought.
His previous totals will sparkle and sparkle;
His play and his cap hit will not.”
“To disciplinarian Campbell is given
A freshly-wiped e-mail inbox.
For Blackhawks fans, Vince Vaughn and Jeremy Piven.
The blogosphere, Damien Cox.”
And thusly, did Daniel miss five weeks of hockey,
To sort the gifts, goodly and grim:
For frail Sami Salo, a lone stick of Pocky,
The one thing more fragile than him.
And when they were finished, said Santa Claus, grateful,
“You saved me! Saved Christmas, at that!
Hey, bring my good friend Kyle Wellwood this plateful
Of bagel bites. Man, is he fat.”
And so Santa brought Sedin back to Vancouver
By sleigh, as he promised he would.
But there, they discovered his magic maneuver
Had made brother Henrik too good.
“He’s scoring at will!” Daniel said, in a fury.
“He got a damn hat-trick last night!
I said make him Jeff Cowan, not Pavel Bure!
Mösspräst, Santa! Make it all right!”
“On Mason! On Backstrom! On Osgood & Howard!
He’s scoring in ways unbeknown!”
But Santa was already gone (he’s a coward),
And Daniel was left all alone.
The advent of Henrik alone was the story,
So Daniel tried coming on strong.
But Henrik, awash in that Santa Claus glory,
Just racked up points all season long.
The praises for Henrik were loud and ham-fisted,
And Daniel collateral dross.
It couldn’t be stopped; no goal went unassisted.
He tragically won the Art Ross.
And worse yet, the Art Ross became a preamble
For Hart talk, among analysts.
To silence it, Daniel extorted Ken Campbell
To gripe about second assists.
But nothing can fight Christmas magic. Ovechkins
And Crosbies could never cut through,
(A lot like the Broncos could not stop the Redskins
In Super Bowl twenty and two.)
Though Henrik’s last name was misspoken as “Sedden”,
He won on that Las Vegas stage.
And down in the crowd, brother Daniel did redden,
Cheeks flush with competitive rage.
A season removed now from Henrik’s ascendance,
Each instance that Daniel might score,
He thinks of last Christmas, then roofs it with vengeance,
And hates Santa Claus all the more.