Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Injury Forces Vancouver's Henrik Sedin to Skip Sochi Winter Games

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Injury Forces Vancouver's Henrik Sedin to Skip Sochi Winter Games

Article excerpt

Injury forces Henrik Sedin to miss Olympics

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MONTREAL - Henrik Sedin's absence will leave a big gap in Sweden's lineup.

On Thursday evening, the Vancouver Canucks announced the 33-year-old would not be playing alongside his Swedish teammates at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

Sedin has been dealing with a rib injury for nearly a month, but hoped to recover in time to battle for a gold medal.

Instead, he will stay home, nurse his injury, and prepare his return to the Canucks when the NHL season starts again at the end of February.

"To go over there and not feel 100 per cent was wrong towards myself and my teammates here (in Vancouver) and my Swedish teammates," said Sedin hours after the decision was made public. "Could I have been getting better, playing over there? Yeah, maybe. Could it have made things worse, coming back afterwards? Also yes. It wasn't a risk I was willing to take."

Sedin is a first-line centre, a play-maker, and an offensive threat every time he steps onto the ice. He has 40 points so far this season (9 goals, 31 assists), tied for highest point-getter in Vancouver's lineup with his brother Daniel, and averages more than 20 minutes of ice time every game.

"I don't see a reason for going over there and making it worse," said Henrik. "I would have felt awful coming back afterwards and not being able to play. (The Canucks) have a huge stretch after the Olympics and we need to get back on track."

Sedin was injured in Vancouver's 1-0 loss against the Phoenix Coyotes on Jan. 16 when he was cross-checked in the ribs by Martin Hanzal. Sedin stayed in the game, and even started the Canucks' game two days later against the Calgary Flames, but left after the second intermission.

He then missed six games in a row, ending his nearly decade-long 679 consecutive-game streak, the seventh-longest in NHL history. After returning to play, but in some pain, for two games in February - against Detroit on Feb. 3 and Boston on Feb. 4 - Canucks doctors sidelined him for good.

"I don't think it would have made any difference if I had rested those two games," said Sedin when asked if he came back prematurely. …

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