SOCHI, Russia -- Injuries continue to deplete the field for the Sochi Olympics men’s hockey tournament even before it starts.
Team Finland took a double hit on Friday when it lost forward Valtteri Filppula of the Tampa Bay Lightning to a broken ankle and forward Mikko Koivu of the Minnesota Wild to an ankle injury. Koivu had undergone ankle surgery on Jan. 6 and has not been cleared to return.
“I’m not going to go to Olympic Games this year. I just don’t feel healthy enough to feel that I can play at the level that I want,” the two-time Olympian said during a news conference Friday in St. Paul, Minn.
Finland has been a perennial medal contender and was expected to be in contention again, but its offense likely will struggle without the two injured forwards. The team had previously taken a hit when Saku Koivu of the Ducks, Mikko’s older brother, took his name out of consideration because he wanted to concentrate on his duties with the NHL team.
Finland did not immediately name replacements for the two players.
Meanwhile, Canada has lost Steven Stamkos, who hasn’t sufficiently recovered from a broken leg, and Sweden has lost Johan Franzen (concussion) and Henrik Sedin (ribs).
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