Lightning D Victor Hedman isn't even on Swedish men's Olympic ice hockey team reserve list

by Jan 24, 5:30 PM

When the roster for Sweden's men's Olympic ice hockey team was announced in early January, the omission of 23-year-old defenseman Victor Hedman raised eyebrows across the hockey world. Hedman, after all, is massive, skilled and is excelling while handling tough competition and playing top-pairing minutes for an over-achieving Lightning team this season. He's also 11th in the league in point per game from a defenseman.

But not only was Hedman left off of the Tre Kronor's 25-man Olympic roster, he doesn't even appear on the reserve list. Per Risto Pakarinen:

So defenders Nicklas Grossman, Erik Gustafsson, Jonas Brodin and Staffan Kronwall are ahead of Victor Hedman on the Swedish Olympic team's blue-line depth chart? Not on merit they're not.

In a conversation with Swedish media outlet Expressen following Thursday night's Lightning game, Hedman said that he'd heard his proficiency in both ends was seen as an issue by the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation, for some baffling reason. 

Hedman also mentioned that he was informed of the news that he hadn't made the Olympic team by e-mail. That's cold Sweden.

Feb 3, 7:04 PM

Team Sweden head coach believes Hedman 'fails to meet any of the roles'

by Feb 3, 7:04 PM

The main snub off the Swedish Olympic hockey team belonged to Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman. He was also left off the injured reserve list. Team Sweden's head coach Pär Mårts told Swedish newspaper DN.VINTER-OS the reason Hedman was not selected.

"He manages both roles [offensive and defensive] but then fails to meet any of the roles really on top," he told Malon Fransson

When asked if Hedman's struggle to play on a large ice surface in 2012 at the World Cup was a factor, Mårts said no. "No, I think not. And I want to emphasize that I have absolutely nothing against Victor. It is a great guy and a warrior, so it is not that which heard only that he is all in all and then you have not really any top in any direction,"

Mårts also noted the team was in contact with Hedman up until the team's roster was announced. "We had contact with him in connection with that we took out the team, but since then we have not had any contact."

[All quotes provided by translation from Google]

Jan 7, 9:48 AM

Analysis: Sweden's Olympic roster is stacked, but not taking Hedman a mistake

by Jan 7, 9:48 AM

The Swedish Olympic roster was announced this morning, and it's somewhere between scary and entirely terrifying for other countries. Things of note: 

* Their d-corps is going to be pretty incredible at moving the puck. Between names like Erik Karlsson, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Alex Edler and Niklas Hjalmarsson, I'd be willing to bet the Swedes won't need too many touches to successfully break out of their own zone. The big Olympic ice will work in their favor.

With a couple of those names you're also looking at a more high-risk, high-reward group, so they should be fun to watch either way.

* The notable snub, for me: Victor Hedman (and Jonas Brodin to a lesser extent). They took Henrik Tallinder, Johnny Oduya and Jonathan Ericsson - I can't think of too many GMs that wouldn't pick Hedman if given the chance to scoop one of those four up.

* The forward group is a really great mix of young and old, fast and smart, gritty and skilled. Young speedsters like Carl Hagelin and Gabriel Landeskog are nicely complimented by savvy veterans like the Sedin twins and Henrik Zetterberg. With a couple other forwards right in their offensive primes ala Alex Steen, Nicklas Backstrom and Loui Eriksson, this team can play you anyway you want and give you a tough game.

If this Swedish team is able to get quality goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist (and we all know they very well could get that and beyond), they've got as good a chance as any team of bringing home gold. Yikes.

Jan 7, 9:21 AM

Sedin twins, Henrik Lundqvist named to Sweden's Olympic men's ice hockey team

by Jan 7, 9:21 AM

The Swedish men's ice hockey team will head to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia as the defending world champions and a prohibitive favorite to win the gold medal. The Swedish roster is absolutely stacked as 24 of the 25 forwards named to the nation's 25-man Olympic roster - with the exception of only Skelleftea forward Jimmi Ericsson - plays in the NHL. A vast majority of those players play major roles on successful teams.

Here's a list of the 25-players who will sports the Tre Kronor at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi:

GoaltendersJhonas Enroth, Jonas Gustavsson, Henrik Lundqvist

DefencemenAlexander Edler, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Jonathan Ericsson, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Erik Karlsson, Niklas Kronwall, Johnny Oduya, Henrik Tallinder

ForwardsDaniel Alfredsson, Nicklas Bäckström, Patrik Berglund, Jimmie Ericsson, Loui Eriksson, Johan Franzén, Carl Hagelin, Marcus Krüger, Gabriel Landeskog, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Jakob Silfverberg, Alexander Steen, Henrik Zetterberg

Some notable omissions include Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin, Nashville Predators wingers Patric Hornqvist and Viktor Stalberg, Ottawa Senators center Mika Zibanejad, and Tampa Bay Lightning defender Victor Hedman, who has emerged as one of the league's best two-way defenders.

Injured forward Loui Eriksson was named to the roster despite concussion issues. Eriksson was extremely effective playing on the right flank of Daniel and Henrik Sedin at the World Championships this past May, and will presumably reprise that role should he return to health in time to compete at the Olympic games.