Trouble for Tre Kronor: Henrik Sedin won’t play for Sweden at Olympics

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Vancouver Canucks captain Henrik Sedin has confirmed reports that he won’t be representing Sweden at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Sedin, who was set to serve as one of Sweden’s alternate captains, informed Sportnet’s Dan Murphy of the decision on Thursday. The news came just hours after Vancouver announced it was shutting Sedin down for the final two games prior to the Olympic break, an announcement that included John Tortorella saying he didn’t want his captain playing in Sochi.

To say Sedin has been ineffective lately would be putting it mildly. He’s gone pointless in back-to-back losses to Detroit and Boston — Vancouver only managed to score once in the two games — and hasn’t been able to take faceoffs, attempting just four against the Wings and one against the Bruins.

Prior to the Detroit game, Sedin had missed six in a row with a rib ailment.

The news is a big blow to both player and country, as Sedin has a long history of competing for Sweden internationally. He was part of the gold medal-winning side at the 2006 games in Turin, played again at the ’10 games in Vancouver and won gold at the 2013 World Hockey Championships.

Sedin is tied with his brother (and fellow Swedish Olympian) Daniel for the Canucks’ scoring lead this season, with 40 points. Henrik’s 31 assists put him t-19th in the NHL and fourth among all Swedish skaters.

Reports suggest that Calgary’s Mikael Backlund could be in line as a replacement. The Swedes has already had to deal with an injury replacement issue, as Gustav Nyquist was called into the side to take the spot of Johan Franzen (currently sidelined with a concussion) and Backlund would be something of a surprise.

Based on an earlier report from  IIHF scribe Risto Pakarainen, Sweden’s list of replacement forwards included Nashville’s Patric Hornqvist and Washington’s Marcus Johansson.