NHL notes: Forsberg takes back controversial comment

Swedish forward Peter Forsberg. (REUTERS)

Swedish forward Peter Forsberg. (REUTERS)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:12 PM ET

Sweden didn't throw its game against Slovakia at the 2006 Olympics, retired NHLer Peter Forsberg said Wednesday.

Forsberg, back-tracking on earlier comments he made to Swedish broadcaster SVT that indicated the Swedes "saw no reason to win the game," claimed his words were taken out of context after the IIHF asked for an explanation.

"What I meant to say was that even for someone like me, with a winning mentality, it is sometimes difficult to find full motivation for a match that doesn't have to be won at any cost," Forsberg said in a statement to Swedish news agency TT.

Forsberg added that none of the coaches or players "talked about not doing their best in the match against Slovakia" and said he hadn't phrased himself properly in the interview with SVT.

By losing to Slovakia in the round-robin portion of the Olympic tournament, Sweden avoided playing Canada in the quarterfinals. Instead, the Swedes played Switzerland and went on to win the gold medal.

"But there was no order from any coach that we should lose," Forsberg said in the original interview with SVT, which aired Sunday. "Maybe we discussed within the group that it's probably better if don't go out and tire ourselves out too much."

Forsberg played 708 NHL games with Quebec, Colorado, Philadelphia and Nashville, finishing his career with 249 goals and 636 assists.

NEW JOB FOR SID

Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby was named Wednesday as a Youth Olympic Games Ambassador for the inaugural event next month in Innsbruck, Austria.

Crosby, South Korean figure skater Yuna Kim, American skier Lindsey Vonn, Austrian skier Benjamin Raich and French freestyle skier Kevin Rolland will be the ambassadors for the Winter Youth Olympic Games Jan. 13-22.

"It's important that young athletes have the proper guidance and support in their early years," Crosby said in a statement. "I have always tried to lead by example and be a positive role model for people. I hope my involvement in the first Winter Youth Olympic Games can help inspire the athletes and motivate them to be the best they can be in everything they do, not only during competition."

Crosby, now out with a concussion for the second time in less than a year, scored the winning goal for Canada in the gold-medal game at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

SKINNER ON IR

Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner was put on injured reserve Wednesday.

Skinner has been sidelined with a concussion since being hit by Edmonton Oilers defenceman Andy Sutton on Dec. 7. Sutton wasn't suspended for the open-ice hit.

In 30 games this season, Skinner has 12 goals and 12 assists.

The Hurricanes also put forward Tim Brent on IR after he was hurt Tuesday in practice. Forward Riley Nash was called up from Charlotte of the AHL to fill the void left by Skinner and Brent.

CALLING ENGELLAND

Pittsburgh's Deryk Engelland will have a hearing Thursday with Brendan Shanahan, the NHL's director of discipline, for a headshot the Penguins defenceman dealt Chicago forward Marcus Kruger.

Kruger, a 21-year-old centre, took the hit at 8:55 in the first period. Kruger took five more shifts before leaving the game.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Kruger was doing OK after the game but he would be re-evaluated.

RICHARDS CLEARED

Los Angeles Kings forward Mike Richards will get to see Darryl Sutter's debut behind the bench up close and personal.

Richards, out forthree weeks with a concussion, has been cleared to play against the Anaheim Ducks Thursday, Sutter's first game as coach of the Kings. The former Flyers captain has missed seven games since being hurt Dec. 1 but was reluctant to try to rush back.

"It's a tough thing because you're always thinking about it, so you never know," Richards told reporters. "You want to be ready and when you do come back you don't want to be cautious when you step in there feeling confident."

ISLES HURTING

Two New York Islanders suffered concussions Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets.

Goalie Al Montoya was hurt in a collision with Jets forward Evander Kane while forward David Ullstrom was concussed when he went back-first into the boards in overtime. Forward Michael Haley and goalie Anders Nilsson were called up on emergency loan from Bridgeport of the AHL.

Brian Rolston also went on IR due to a concussion Wednesday.

BRIEFLY

Chicago Blackhawks agitator Daniel Carcillo was put on IR with an upper-body injury and recalled forward Brandon Pirri from Rockford of the AHL. Carcillo has already missed three games with the injury ... Goaltender Justin Pogge was called up from Portland of the AHL by the Phoenix Coyotes. Starting goalie Mike Smith was hurt Tuesday against the Florida Panthers. Coyotes defenceman Adrian Aucoin was put on IR with a lower-body injury... The Florida Panthers called up forwards Evgenii Dadonov and Michal Repik from San Antonio of the AHL ... Forward Eric Tangradi was sent to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Tangradi has no points in four games with the Pens ... The Calgary Flames called up forward Greg Nemisz from Abbotsford of the AHL. The Flames also put defenceman Brett Carson on injured reserve with an upper-body injury.


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