Bergenheim rejected Finland’s Olympic invitation

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Sean Bergenheim wasn’t on Finland’s original roster, but after the team lost Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu and Tampa Bay’s Valtteri Filppula, they asked him if he would represent his country.

He said no.

Bergenheim felt he needed to prioritize his long-term health. He missed the entire 2013 campaign due to hip, groin and abdomen injuries and he wasn’t ready for the start of 2013-14. It got to the point were former Panthers coach Kevin Dineen expressed concern over Bergenheim’s career and questioned the the forward’s toughness.

He also urged Bergenheim to come back even if he wasn’t 100 percent. It’s worth adding that after Dineen was fired, forward Scottie Upshall criticized the former bench boss for using injuries against him.

Regardless, Bergenheim did return shortly after Dineen’s public scolding and it sounds like he probably did so before he was fully recovered. So rather than go to the Olympics, Bergenheim is going to rest and continue his rehabilitation.

“For any athlete, having to say no to the Olympics is disappointing,” Bergenheim told the Miami Herald.

“I had to make a decision with my best interests in mind. I really feel I need to the break. I’m happy with how far I have come, but I could take a real step forward after the break.”

Finland named two KHLers, Jarkko Immonen and Sakari Salminen, as the team’s injury replacements.