Henrik Sedin to miss final pre-Olympic gamesby NHL.com Staff
Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin will miss the final two games prior to the Olympic break, in addition to the tournament itself.
"I'm disappointed not to be physically able to represent my country at the Winter Olympic Games," Sedin said in a statement released by the Canucks. "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."
Sedin recently returned to the lineup after missing six games with bruised ribs. He played back-to-back games against the Detroit Red Wings on Monday and the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, and did not register a shot on goal in either game.
"We are shutting Henrik down for the next two games," Canucks coach John Tortorella said. "He wants to play, but he's not as effective as we need him to be right now."
Tortorella expressed his great respect for Sedin's attempts to gut his way through the injury.
"I go back to some of the conversations that have been talked about the brothers here, the twins, that they're soft," Tortorella said. "Henrik, he has done everything he possibly could to stay on the ice, to get ready to play some games, and we're not going to put him at risk. I told him today and I just told the trainer, 'He's out and he's out for the next game.' I have a tremendous amount of respect for him as for what he tried to do. It's gotten to the point where he's not as effective as we want him to be, and sooner or later I think you're going to put him at risk, so we needed to do this."
The Canucks, who play at the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday and at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, have lost five in a row and are eighth in the Western Conference, one point ahead of the Phoenix Coyotes and Dallas Stars.
It remained unclear at the time Tortorella spoke whether Sedin would choose to try to participate for Sweden in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Later in the day, Sedin confirmed he will not participate.
"To me -- and I've been in these situations before -- that is a family matter and that is the player's matter," Tortorella said. "That is his country and it's a very, very delicate situation. Right now, do I want him to go? Absolutely not. I'm thinking about our hockey club. But I am not having a conversation with him about that. That's his call. That's your country. So he's going to have to work that out with his family and let us know what he wants to do."