Backlund Watch 2014: Sochi Bound? (Update: Nope)


(photo courtesy the NHL/NHL.com)

On Thursday afternoon, word broke out of Vancouver that Henrik Sedin would not be playing for Team Sweden at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The games began technically yesterday, with the men’s hockey tournament beginning on Tuesday.

Backlund was bandied about by many, including this very site, as a potential replacement for Johan Franzen when the Red Wings forward announced earlier this week that he wasn’t going to Sochi due to injury. Alas, that dream was for naught.

Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist replaced Franzen. Now that there’s another spot, Backlund is again rumoured to be the replacement. So what’s happening?

Officially, nothing yet.

We’ve reached out to our pals at Hockey Canada about when the "reserve list" comes into play – Is it just for in-tournament injuries? Can you replace guys on the reserve list when you replace a main roster player? We’re awaiting some answers, as everyone is, most likely.

Sweden’s coach Pär Mårts is going to announce Sedin’s replacement on Friday Sochi-time, so probably wicked-early in North America. Backlund was reportedly mentioned by the coach as a potential replacement. Washington’s Mathias Marcus Johansson and Nashville’s Patric Hornqvist are probably the other leading contenders for the vacancy. It’s worth noting that Backlund has played for Mårts on a few occasions as part of Team Sweden.

  • 2007-08 U-19 Team
  • 2007-08 World Juniors
  • 2008-09 World Juniors
  • 2010-11 World Hockey Championship
  • 2012-13 Euro Hockey Tour

So it’s not like Mårts doesn’t know anything about Backlund.

But for now, until we get confirmation of Backlund’s Olympic status one way or another, we sit and wait.

UPDATE: Most likely no Sochi for #11.