Steven Stamkos isn’t the only big-name NHL player being forced to miss the Olympics because of injury.
The Canadian/Tampa Bay Lightning sniper will be joined on the late withdrawal list by Henrik Sedin (Sweden), Marian Gaborik (Slovakia) and, quite possibly, Mikko Koivu (Finland).
Sedin, the Vancouver Canucks star, confirmed Swedish reports Thursday that he will miss the Sochi Games because of a rib injury he suffered on Jan. 16. Sedin returned to Vancouver’s lineup earlier this week, but then the Canucks decided to shut him down. Reports out of Sweden said Calgary Flames centre Mikael Backlund is expected to replace Sedin.
Gaborik, a Columbus Blue Jackets winger, made his decision to not play official on Thursday. The two-time Slovakian Olympian suffered a broken collarbone on Dec. 21.
Former NHLer Branko Radivojevic, who now plays for Bratislava of the KHL, will take Gaborik’s place.