One day after Canada’s Steven Stamkos was made inactive for the Sochi Games, Sweden’s Henri Sedin, an NHL award winner himself, was also pull from the Olympics.
One day after the announcement that Steven Stamkos wouldn’t be ready for the Olympics, news broke another award-winning and injured NHLer won’t be able to compete in Sochi.
This time, the news comes from Sweden, where Henrik Sedin was ruled out. Henrik had missed six games in January to bruised ribs, but returned for Vancouver’s last two games in Detroit and Boston. He didn’t record a point or a shot in either one.
Quickly, the Swedes announced Henrik’s replacement would be Mikael Backlund of the Calgary Flames, who has 13 goals and 27 points in 55 games this season. The 24-year-old will be no straight up replacement for the former Hart and Art Ross winner, though.
A big question for the Swedes now centers around how Daniel Sedin will fare without his twin brother. In the six NHL games he played without him in January, Daniel had one point – an assist – as the Canucks lost four of six. His play even led the Vancouver Province to ask “Is Daniel Sedin done as an elite offensive player in the NHL?”
Daniel is on his worst point per game pace since before the 2004-05 lost season and has a lot of proving to do in Sochi for a player of his stature. With Henrik following Johan Franzen out of the Olympics, things will get a little tougher for the Tre Kronor.
But they still have Gabriel Landeskog, Henrik Zetterberg, Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Steen and plenty of other talent to pick up the slack. They still have a loaded defense and a brick wall in net. Losing Henrik Sedin is a major blow, much like losing Stamkos was for Canada. But make no mistake: the Swedes will still be a force in the Games.