One of the most exciting events at the Winter Olympics is the men's hockey. The competition level is high, the intensity is high and many players are well-known around the world. It is an exciting time for these players and an honor to represent their countries. Henrik Sedin and Marian Gaborik were two of those players hoping to go to Sochi. They both got named to their respected teams and had visions of bringing back a gold medal. Unfortunately for both of them, their journey stops short as they have not been cleared to participate in this year's Olympics.
Sedin, 33, represented Sweden in the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics. He has spent his entire NHL career with the Vancouver Canucks and has recorded 832 career points. The former Hart Trophy winner has missed time with bruised ribs and has not been cleared for contact.
I'm disappointed not to be physically able to represent my Country at the Winter Olympic Games. This is a difficult decision but ultimately the best decision for me personally, Team Sweden and the Vancouver Canucks. I wish my teammates the best and look forward to returning to play.
Sweden still has a very talented roster even without Sedin. His twin brother Daniel and Henrik Zetterberg should provide offense up front, while Erik Karlsson and Niklas Kronwall are just two of the names that headline a talented blue line. Henrik Lundqvist will more than likely get the nod as Sweden's starting goaltender and he is one of the more dangerous and capable goalies in the world.
Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson has been named as Sedin's replacement. Johansson, 23, has seven goals and 29 assists this season.
Henrik Sedin isn't the only player who will miss the Olympic Games in Sochi as Columbus Blue Jackets forward Marian Gaborik has also not been cleared to play for Slovakia. Gaborik, 31, has only played in 18 games this season for Columbus and has played only one game since November 14. He suffered a broken collarbone on December 21 and is not close to returning to the ice.
The men's hockey tournament gets underway on Wednesday, February 12.
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