Thursday, February 02, 2006

Naslund Chooses Rest Over Trip to Olympics

The AP is reporting today that Vancouver Canucks Captain Markus Naslund will not join Team Sweden for the Turin Olympics. Naslund has sat out one game with a ongoing nagging goin injury. The Olympic break will hopefully give the injury time to clear up.

By Associated Press

February 2, 2006, 12:57 PM EST
STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Vancouver Canucks captain Markus Naslund will miss the Olympics because of a lingering groin injury, dealing a blow to Sweden's chances for a gold medal.

Naslund, one of the leading goal scorers in the NHL during the last few seasons, will be replaced by Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom, Sweden's ice hockey federation said Thursday.

Naslund's injury forced him to sit out a game against Colorado on Saturday, but he returned to score a goal when the Canucks beat the Phoenix Coyotes 7-4 Tuesday. However, he informed Sweden coach Bengt-Ake Gustafsson on Thursday that his groin was still hurting, federation spokesman Mats Olsson said.

"It's not good for us at all," said top Swedish goalie Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers. "He's a great player and a good scorer, so of course we needed him. But if he can't go for 100 percent then I think it's nice to let someone else take his spot."

Naslund had been expected to form a top line with childhood friend Peter Forsberg, the former NHL MVP who has led the Philadelphia Flyers to one of the league's best records so far this season.

Forsberg also has a sore groin, but has said he is likely to be fit for the Turin Games.

"It's never good to have those players injured, the top players on the team," Lundqvist said. "I hope that Peter is well when the tournament starts and he will be very excited about playing."

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