Injuries strike Sochi rosters
Injuries strike Sochi rosters
Sedin, Gaborik won’t play in 2014 tourney
Sedin, a 2006 Olympic gold medalist and the captain of the Vancouver Canucks, is battling a rib injury. The Swedes nominated Marcus Johansson of the Washington Capitals to replace him. Johansson, who won World Junior silver (2009) and bronze (2010), will make his Olympic debut.
“I'm disappointed not to be physically able to represent my country at the Winter Olympic Games,” Sedin said in a statement. “This is a difficult decision but ultimately the best decision for me personally, Team Sweden, and the Vancouver Canucks.”
Sedin and his brother Daniel, both former NHL scoring champions, led the host nation to gold at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Stockholm.
This is not the first time a Canucks captain has passed on Olympic participation for health reasons. Nursing a groin injury, Markus Naslund skipped the 2006 Olympics in Turin, where Sweden won the gold medal.
Johan Franzen of the Detroit Red Wings will also not play for Sweden due to lingering concussion symptoms. For Franzen, who earned gold at the 2006 Worlds, Detroit teammate Gustav Nyquist has been nominated as replacement. The 24-year-old winger, an Olympic rookie, last suited up for Tre Kronor at the 2009 World Juniors.
Gaborik won’t make the trip to Sochi either since he still hasn’t fully healed a broken collarbone he suffered against the Philadelphia Flyers on December 21. Slovakia coach Vladimir Vujtek announced on Friday that Branko Radivojevic of the KHL’s Slovan Bratislava was selected to replace the two-time Olympian and five-time World Championship forward of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
It will be Radivojevic’s second straight Olympics. The 33-year-old forward already owns World Championship bronze (2003) and silver (2012).
Mikko Koivu announced shortly after the opening ceremony that he will not be able to come to Sochi due to a fractured ankle. The Minnesota Wild captain hasn’t played a game for over one month and will be missed on the Finnish team, like his brother Saku, who withdrew earlier.
Valtteri Filppula fractured his right ankle with his Tampa Bay Lightning in Thursday's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“I was really looking forward to going to play in the Olympics,” stated Filppula, who played in Vancouver 2010. “I don't really know what to say, it's tough right now.”
Two teammates from the KHL's Torpedo Nizhni Novgorod have been nominated to replace Koivu and Filppula. Centre Jarkko Immonen has 36 points this season, while winger Sakari Salminen has 46 points. Immonen, 31, has played at four IIHF World Championships and Salminen, 25, one. Both will be making their Olympic debut.
Earlier the Czech Ice Hockey Association announced that Martin Erat will replace injured player Vladimir Sobotka of the St. Louis Blues. The late replacement has already been requested. For Erat, who plays for the Washington Capitals, it will be the third Olympics.
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