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Olympic news tracker

Mattias Öhlund back home injured. Malkin suspended for semi final.

February 23rd

The tournament directorate suspended Russian forward Evgeny Malkin for one game (semifinal vs Finland) after Malkin's kicking attempt on Canada's Vincent Lecavalier in the Russia - Canada game.

Meanwhile, Team Sweden confirmed that defenseman Mattias Öhlund is headed home to Vancouver after suffering a broken rib and accompanying shoulder injury on a Patric Della Rossa hit in Tre Kronor's 6-2 quarter-final win over Switzerland. Öhlund's roster spot will be taken by Niklas Kronwall (Detroit Red Wings).

There are also reports that Sami Salo, also of the Vancouver Canucks, has a dislocated shoulder. His status for Finland's semi-final encounter with Russia is in question.

February 17th

The Czech Republic suffered a major blow Friday when it was announced that both goaltender Dominik Hasek and forward Patrik Elias will be lost for the balance of the Olympic tournament.

Hasek suffered a groin injury during the Czech opener versus Germany, and it's expected Tomas Vokoun will take over as the starter for the rest of the tournament, with Milan Hnilicka as his backup. Dusan Salficky (Mytishi Khimik, RUS) will be added as the third goalie. Hasek will return to Ottawa to consult with the Senators' medical staff.

Elias was cross-checked early in the Czech Republic-Germany game and has bruised ribs. He will return to New Jersey for medical attention, and will be replaced by Ales Kotalik (Buffalo Sabres)

Sweden will be looking forward to tomorrow's match-up against Latvia.

In its third game of the tournament it will face Latvia and will welcome back star forward Peter Forsberg in the line-up.

The return of Forsberg will be a big boost for the Swedes, who have posted a 1-0-1 record after two games.

Forsberg was sidelined due to a gorin injury.

February 14th

Germany has announced the two replacements for injured forwards Jochen Hecht and Marco Sturm: Tino Boos (Kölner Haie) and Klaus Kathan (Düsseldorfer EG).

Both were members of the 2005 IIHF World Championship squad that was relegated to Division I, and Kathan also played in the 2002 Olympics.

February 13th

Swedish national team coach Bengt-Åke Gustafsson told the Swedish news agency TT on Monday evening that star forward Peter Forsberg (Philadelphia) will arrive in Turin on Tuesday to join the Swedish Olympic team, but he added that "Foppa" will not play in the team's two first preliminary round games, against Kazakhstan (Feb. 15) and Russia (Feb. 16). Forsberg has been nursing a groin injury.

Meanwhile, the Slovak team management confirmed that forward Michal Handzus (Philadelphia) is injured and it is doubtful whether Team Slovakia will keep him on the roster when the teams are to be registered to the Olympic tournament on Tuesday. Likely replacements are Miroslav Zalesak (Södertalje, SWE) or Ronald Petrovicky (Atlanta).

Finland's woes continued today as Antti Miettinen of the Dallas Stars has withdrawn from the Olympics because of injury. The Finnish association is expected to announce that he will be replaced by NHL teammate Niklas Hagman.
Miettinen is the seventh Finnish player forced out of the tournament due to an injury.

February 12th

In the final exhibition tune-up for the host nation, Italy defeated Latvia 5-4 in a wild see-saw battle. Giupseppe Busillo tallied the winner, and Giorgio de Bettin, John Parco, Luca Ansoldi and Manuel De Toni also scored for Italy. Georgijs Pujacs, Martins Cipulis, Leonids Tambijevs and Herberts Vasiljevs replied for the Latvians.

In pre-tournament action, a Swedish roster composed primarily of Elitserien players not participating in the Olympics defeated the Swiss national team 5-1. Christian Berglund, Magnus Johansson, Fredrik Warg, Jörgen Jönsson and Tommy Sjödin scored for Sweden, while Martin Plüss replied for Switzerland, which was without NHLers Martin Gerber, David Aebischer and Mark Streit. The 40-year-old Sjödin was named Sweden's Player of the Game, and Thierry Paterlini was honored for Switzerland.

Star Swedish center Peter Forsberg still holds out hope of representing his homeland in Turin. He'll have an MRI on his injured left groin Sunday. The results, expected Monday, will likely determine whether he participates or not.

The Boston Bruins announced forward Marco Sturm will not participate in the Torino Olympics due to an upper body he suffered on February 4. The former German captain has not played since that date.

Defenseman Sandis Ozolins of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks is expected to complete the in-patient portion of his treatment with the NHL Substance Abuse Program and be released to represent Latvia at the 2006 Winter Games, according to a Canadian Press report.

February 10th

Horror news for Team Germany. Last night, the German federation found out that one of their top forwards Jochen Hecht was injured last night in a game against the Montreal Canadiens.

11 Minutes from the end of the game, Hecht fell awkwardly after a check from Jan Bulis and suffered a knee injury which prevents him from participating in Torino.

February 8th

The Slovak association informed that forward Tomas Surovy (Pittsburgh) will replace injured Ladislav Nagy (Phoenix) on the Olympic roster for Torino 2006. Pavol Demitra (LA Kings) was named captain of the team.

Swiss GM Peter Zahner informed IIHF.com that forward Andres Ambühl (Davos) has replaced injured Kevin Romy (Lugano) in the Swiss Olympic team.

Peter Forsberg is expected to announce in the next day or two whether he will suit up for Sweden at the Olympics.

The superstar center has been nursing a sore left groin and is not expected to play in Philadelphia's last two games versus Washington and Ottawa before the Olympic break. Michael Nylander (New York Rangers) will replace Forsberg if necessary.

In pre-olympic exhibition games three games were played.

Switzerland lost at home to Russia: 1-2
Austria defeted Germany thanks to a late first period goal: 1-0
Sweden beat a non-Olympic Slovak side comfortably 4-0.

February 7th

The Finnish Ice Hockey Association announced that defenseman Antti-Jussi Niemi (Frölunda, SWE) will replace Joni Pitkänen (Philadelphia Flyers) at the Torino Olympics. Pitkänen has been suffering from a groin strain in recent weeks

Meanwhile everyone in Sweden will be locked to their radios today as later this afternoon the situation around Peter Forsberg's injury will be evaluated.

The injury prone NHL star has been troubled by groins injury recently.

As reported here on Eurohockey.net before, New York Islanders defenseman Aleksei Zhitnik announced he would not participate for Team Russia in the Torino Olympics due to a sprained ankle. The well-respected Gazeta.ru site reported that Vitaly Vishnevski (Anaheim Mighty Ducks) would take Zhitnik's spot.

Defenceman Scott Niedermayer (Anaheim Mighty Duck) informed Hockey Canada he would not suit up for his native country in Torino, opting for arthroscopic surgery on his ailing right knee during the Olympic break instead. Jay Bouwmeester (Florida Panthers) and Dan Boyle (Tampa Bay Lightning) are deemed likely candidates to replace the international superstar.

All Olympic rosters, including player profiles can be watched on our Olympic Event page

February 6th

Two Olympic roster changes were made official today by different national associations. Forward Patrik Elias (New Jersey) replaces injured Petr Prucha (NY Rangers) on Team Czech Republic, while Finland named goaltender Niklas Bäckström (Kärpät Oulu) in place of the likewise injured Kari Lehtonen (Atlanta).

February 5th

USA head coach Peter Laviolette had to look no further than his own NHL dressing room in Carolina to name defenceman Bret Hedican as replacement for Aaron Miller of the Los Angeles Kings on the Americans' blueline for Torino.

Miller has withdrawn because of a nagging back injury while Hedican has been part of a team that has been at or near the top of the NHL all year long. Hedican has played at the 1997, 1999, and 2001 World Championships for USA although he did not play in Salt Lake four years ago.

A knee operation is the reason that Team Slovakia forward Ladislav Nagy has been forced out of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino. A replacement for the Phoenix Coyotes winger will be named soon.

Switzerland head coach Ralph Krüeger also saw its selected team not surviving the weekend injury free. Lugano players Kevin Romy (muscle injury) and Julien Vauclair (broken finger) are currently in the sickbay. As potential replacements, Krüeger has called up Reto Kobach (Ambri Piotta) and Andres Ambühl (HC Davos).

Team Germany head coach Uwe Krupp saw his team in competitive action for the first time this weekend. His Olympic team, that saw seven players missing due to North-American committments, defeated a DEL-All-Star team made up of import players in the league; 5-3.

A blow for Krupp was the broken jaw of forward Michael Hackert in his team's last league game before the Olympic break.

Hackert was surprisingly acquired by the Detroit Red Wings in the off-season, but did not manage to crack the team. After just 16 games played for the team's AHL-affiliate, and with the Olympic nomination in mind, Hackert decided to move back to Germany in order to get more ice time.

February 3rd

Finland defenseman Ossi Väänänen (Colorado) broke his ankle last night in a game against Nashville. In addition to the olympics he might miss the rest of the NHL season.

Väänänen will be replaced by Petteri Nummelin who plays for HC Lugano in the Swiss league.


Pat Rupp, goaltender for the 1964 and 1968 U.S. Olympic teams who also played for the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers, died Thursday after a long battle with cancer.

He was 63.

During the 1964 Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, Rupp blanked the East Germans, 8-0, a shutout feat not matched by an American Olympic goalie until 28 years later when Ray LeBlanc held Germany scoreless in a 2-0 victory in the 1992 Olympics. (AP)

February 2nd

Russia will likely have to do without the services of defenseman Aleksei Zhitnik.

The Swedish Ice Hockey Association announced that Vancouver Canucks forward Markus Näslund will miss the Olympic Winter Games in Turin due to a groin injury. National team coach Bengt-Ake Gustafsson has named Tomas Holmström (Detroit) as replacement

USA Hockey announced that Chris Chelios, 44, will again captain Team USA in the Olympic Winter Games. Chelios, who also was the captain in Nagano -98 and Salt Lake City -02, will be going to his fourth Winter Games as he started his Olympic career in Sarajevo 1984.

The Detroit Red Wings defenseman will become the first hockey player to participate in an Olympic tournament 22 years after playing in his first. Click here for a Chris Chelios interview in the February issue of the IIHF Ice Times

January 31st

Canadian Press informed that Team Canada defenseman Ed Jovanovski will undergo abdominal surgery on Wednesday (February 1), meaning that won't be able to play in the Olympic Winter Games in Turin. According to reports, Jovanovski is expected to be gone for six to eight weeks. Hockey Canada is expected to name a replacement defenseman soon.

Team Russia GM Pavel Bure informed that New Jersey forward Sergei Brylin is the designated reserve in case of another injury to a forward on the Russian Olympic team.

Finland will call up pesky winger Ville Nieminen to replace injured Sami Kapanen.

Team Finland head coach Erkka Westerlund is positive about the New York Rangers player: "Ville has played well as defensive winger this season and ranks high in +/-".

Hannu Toivonen returns on Wednesday for Boston and depending on his status the replacement for Kari Lehtonen will be decided later in the week.

January 30th

Team Russia GM Pavel Bure has told the paper Sovietski Sport that goaltender Maksim Sokolov (SKA St. Petersburg) will replace the injured Nikolai Khabibulin (Chicago) on the Russian team for Torino 2006 while forward Aleksandr Korolyuk (Vityaz Chekhov) has been named as replacement for Aleksei Zhamnov, also injured. Bure also informed that one of Denis Kulyash (Dynamo Moscow) or Sergei Zhukov (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl) will replace injured defenseman Dmitri Bykov (Danmo Moscow)

Italian Olympic host broadcaster RAI will use Czech football star Pavel Nedved to do the commentary during the hockey games of the XX Olympic Winter Games. Nedved, who stars for the famous Turin club Juventus, is a long-time fan of the game and will add a substantial amount of hockey knowledge to the Italian broadcasts.

January 29th

As if Finland didn't have enough injury misery already, they had to deal with another blow. Veteran winger Sami Kapanen, a three-time Olympian, has decided not to be available for the upcoming Olympic Games.

Although Kapanen is playing in the NHL, his season is marred with injuries which prevent him from even practicing with his team. The player has informed the Finnish federation that he prefers to rest and get healthy during the Olympic break.

Replacements for both Kapanen and Kari Lehtonen, who is ruled out due to injury, is expected early next week.

The Team Russia officials learned that defenseman Dmitri Bykov suffered a serious knee injury in a league game last Friday and is doubtful for the Olympics. The medical staff will decide on his availability on Monday.

If Bykov is ruled out, Russia will probably chose from Oleg Tverdovsky, Vitaly Vishnevsky or Denis Kulyash.

Furthermore Aleksei Zhamnov's particiaption is in jeopardy. If Zhamnov's injury proves too serious, Sergei Brylin will come in contention to take his roster spot.

Viktors Ignatijevs has learned that he is no longer on the Latvian Olympic roster. It would have been Ignatijevs final chance to particiapte in the Olympics. Unfortunately for the veteran defenseman, the Latvian federation did not take that fact in consideration and scratched him from the roster.

January 27th

Finland will again have to rearrange their goaltending department as 22-year old Kari Lehtonen announced today that his early season groin injury will force him out of the Olympic tournament.

"I'm very disappointed that I'm unable to represent my country, but after speaking with our doctors, we feel it's the best thing to do at this time and my only real option.", said Lehtonen in a Atlanta Thrasher press release.

Shortly after the rosters were announced for Torino the first choice goalie for team Finland Miikka Kiprusoff decided to skip the Olympic games due to similar early season injury.

Both players have played with their club teams, but decided they need the rest in order to finish the rest of the NHL season.

Next in the pecking order is Antero Niittymäki, who has broken into the Philadelphia lineup this season. Hannu Toivonen of the Boston Bruins is expected to fill in as back up.

Another former national team goaltender, Pasi Nurminen was already forced to hang up his skates due to injury earlier this year.

January 26th

The Swedish Ice Hockey Association has informed the IIHF that it has to withdraw recuperrating defenseman Niklas Kronwall (Detroit) from the Olympic roster. Atlanta's Daniel Tjärnqvist is called in as replacement.

January 25th

The Slovak Ice Hockey Association has announced that defenseman Dominik Granak (Slavia Praha) and forwards Tomas Surovy (Pittsburgh) and Ronald Petrovicky (Atlanta) have been named as replacement players in case of injury to any of the nominated Turin 2006 players.

Team Russia national team coach Vladimir Krikunov has informed Russian media that he has picked Maksim Sokolov (SKA St. Petersburg) to replace the injured Nikolai Khabibulin (Chicago).

Sokolov was named Best Goaltender in the 2002 IIHF World Championship when he led his team to a silver medal, Russia's best WC placing since 1993.

EH.N's 2006 Olympics page


Link:
http://www.eurohockey.net/olympics/

Story added on 23rd February 2006 at 14:49 GMT
Story submitted by: Joeri Loonen.

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