Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks announced today that he won’t suit up for a game prior to the Olympic break. That puts a huge question mark on his participation in the tournament for Sweden, and in all likelihood it means he won’t play.
That could open the door for Nashville Predators forward Patric Hornqvist to finally be named to the team. Hornqvist, who was part of the 2010 team, was considered one of the bigger snubs when the team was announced earlier this year. Though his production on the ice has slipped a bit, the former 30-goal scorer has still been one of the more reliable players in Nashville this year. He has a penchant for driving hard to the net and creating problems for the opposing goaltender.
When Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen withdrew from the tournament because of injury, Hornqvist was said to be on the short list of players being considered to replace him. Franzen’s teammate Gustav Nyquist was eventually named in his place which was helped by a four-point performance against the Washington Capitals last week. In that game, eyes were also on Washington’s Marcus Johansson, who was also considered a possible replacement. One figures Johansson is still on the shortlist, but it would be a mistake not to include Hornqvist.
With all the talent that Sweden has (Gabriel Landeskog, Daniel Sedin, Loui Eriksson, Henrik Zetterberg, etc.), Hornqvist is a perfect addition to one of the bottom two lines as he would be able to wear out the players he’d be on the ice against. He’s a responsible, two-way player. His game may not be the prettiest, but Sweden could use a gritty player to crash the net for rebounds.