In his sixth and what appear to be final Winter Olympics, Teemu Selanne has received a pretty high honor.
The 43-year-old vet will captain the Finnish team in Sochi, according to NHL.com. The door to serve as Finland’s captain was opened after the Koivu brothers — Saku and Mikko — were unable to participate in the ’14 Games (Saku captained Finland in Vancouver; Mikko was in line for the honor in Sochi.) Selanne was the most logical choice given his tireless contributions internationally and, earlier in the day, learned he’d open the tournament on Finland’s top line alongside youngsters Mikael Granlund (21 years old) and Aleksander Barkov (18).
In related developments, Flyers d-man Kimmo Timonen and ex-Leafs forward Leo Komarov — now playing with KHL Moscow Dynamo — will serve as Finland’s alternate captains.
Finland’s geographical neighbor and biggest rival, Sweden, also announced a change in its leadership group today.
Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog — who, at 21, is the youngest player in the NHL to wear the “C” — will serve as an alternate for the Swedes, replacing the injured Henrik Sedin. (Henrik Zetterberg will serve as team captain.)
It appears Landeskog’s primed to fill a much larger role with the Swedish team that originally thought — last month, the Avs forward said he planned on serving in a bottom-six role in Sochi but, on Monday, was placed on a top line with Zetterberg and Alex Steen.
Here are the forward line combinations for Sweden, as per Sportsnet.ca.
Gabriel Landeskog-Henrik Zetterberg-Alex Steen
Daniel Sedin-Nicklas Backstrom-Loui Eriksson
Gustav Nyquist-Patrik Berglund-Daniel Alfredsson
Carl Hagelin-Marcus Kruger-Jimmie Ericsson
Marcus Johansson and Jakob Silfverberg were listed as the extra forwards.