Two players from the New York Rangers were selected to play for Team Sweden in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Both Carl Hagelin and Henrik Lundqvist have caused concern in two different occurrences.
On Saturday, 15 February, Hagelin played under four minutes in Sweden’s game against Latvia. He left the game with an undisclosed injury, thought it was said to be a precautionary measure. It has also been said that Hagelin will continue to play in the Olympic tournament. Evidently the injury is not serious though it is a cause for concern among the New York Rangers’ fans. A minor injury can easily become a more serious injury if “tweaked”. Hagelin missed the beginning of this season after having shoulder surgery shortly after the team’s playoff elimination.
On Monday, 17 February, Lundqvist was involved in a scary collision with teammate Erik Karlsson during a practice session. Karlsson is fast and anyone who has seen him play can attest to that. Loui Eriksson was on a break away with Karlsson giving chase. It was the making of a “perfect storm” and no one was willing to give up positioning. Lundqvist was set to make the save on Eriksson while Karlsson ended up in a flying dive that resulted in him landing squarely on top of Lundqvist. Practice was nearly over as hank made his way off the ice, hopefully just to catch his breath again. Lundqvist did return to the ice before practice ended. In the same practice Karlsson took out Daniel Alfredsson while running drills together.
It’s a great honor to compete for your country. Unfortunately, injuries can affect so many aspects of the sport. There are contracts and careers outside of national teams which can cause a serious domino effect. Most NHL players are signed to relatively large contracts that usually span several years. With the salary cap as it is, finances are tight and replacement players aren’t always readily available, here’s hoping all the Olympic athletes make it out of the tournament healthy and return to their careers ready to play.