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Wings' foursome pegged for Sweden

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
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DETROIT – Sweden has picked four Red Wings to help try to defend its Olympic gold.

On Sunday, Sweden coach Bengt-Ake Gustafsson announced the roster, which includes Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Tomas Holmstrom and Niklas Kronwall -- that will compete in Vancouver in February.

All four Red Wings were on Sweden’s gold medal team that defeated Finland, 3-2, in the 2006 championship game. Former Red Wings forward Mikael Samuelsson was also on the ’06 squad. But Samuelsson, now a member of the Vancouver Canucks, was not chosen for the 2010 team.

Considered the top NHL defenseman of his era, Lidstrom, who will also captain the Swedish squad, is one of four players making their fourth Olympic appearance with Sweden. The six-time Norris Trophy winner has played in the last three Olympic Games in Nagano (1998), Salt Lake City (2002) and Torino (2006).

By adding an Olympic gold medal to his repertoire four years ago, Lidstrom became the 17th member of the elite Triple Gold Club – winning Olympic, Stanley Cup and World Championship titles. The Red Wings are well-represented on the club with four former (Samuelsson, Viacheslav Fetisov, Igor Larionov, Brendan Shanahan) and three current players (Lidstrom, Kronwall, Zetterberg) in its membership.

For Zetterberg and Holmstrom the Vancouver Games will be the third time for each of them in the Olympics for Sweden.

Goalie Stefan Liv, who formerly played for the Red Wings’ AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids, will once again back-up New York Rangers veteran Henrik Lundqvist.
Before the NHL season began it was expected that Red Wings forward Johan Franzen would be included on Sweden’s roster. But an ACL injury on Oct. 8 squelched his chances to make his first Olympic team. He’s not expected to return to action much before mid-February.

One noteable selection to the Swedish team was that of former NHL star forward Peter Forsberg, who has been hampered by years of injuries. Unfortunately for Sweden, Forsberg is not the only injury that they're dealing with.

Zetterberg (shoulder) and Kronwall (knee) have been out since Dec. 17 and Nov. 21, repsectively, and expected to miss even more time.

Of the 23 players named to the roster, 19 are currently on NHL rosters. Besides the Red Wings, only Vancouver and Columbus have more than one player on Sweden’s squad.


Goalie: Jonas Gustavsson (Toronto), Stefan Liv (HV 71), Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers); Defensemen: Tobias Enstrom (Atlanta), Magnus Johansson (Linkopings HC), Niklas Kronwall (Detroit), Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroit), Douglas Murray (San Jose), Johnny Oduya (New Jersey), Henrik Tallinder (Buffalo), Mattias Ohlund (Tampa Bay); Forwards: Daniel Alfredsson (Ottawa), Nicklas Backstrom (Washington), Loui Eriksson (Dallas), Peter Forsberg (MODO Hockey), Tomas Holmstrom (Detroit), Patric Hornqvist (Nashville), Fredrik Modin (Columbus), Samuel Paahlsson (Columbus), Daniel Sedin (Vancouver), Henrik Sedin (Vancouver), Mattias Weinhandl (Dynamo Moscow), Henrik Zetterberg (Detroit).

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