Even though he didn’t get a shot at the Olympic team, the big Bolts blueliner put to bed any notion that he was kissing off the national squad in an exclusive interview.
I don’t know about you, but when I saw twitter posts last week saying Sweden asked Victor Hedman to play at the world championship and he declined, I assumed it was because of the Olympic snub. And while the Tampa Bay defenseman would have been well within his rights to do so, that’s not the true story: Hedman is simply too banged up with undisclosed injuries from his recently finished NHL campaign.
“My body wasn’t anywhere close to 100 percent,” Hedman told me. “It would have been too much of a risk.”
Hedman is coming off a breakout season with the Bolts, where he set career highs in all offensive categories by scoring 13 goals and 55 points in 75 games while also posting the best Corsi rate of any Tampa defenseman. He was a notable omission from Sweden’s Olympic roster, but that doesn’t mean he’s holding a grudge. He would play for the national team again, right?
“Absolutely,” he said. “Playing for Team Sweden is always a big honor.”