Feb 6, 2014, 3:32 PM EDT
The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that forward Marian Gaborik will be unable to play for Slovakia at the 2014 Winter Olympics, as he’s yet to sufficiently recover from a broken collarbone.
“Marian has worked extremely hard and done everything possible to rehabilitate his injury and return to the ice with the hope of representing his country in Sochi,” said Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen. “We share his deep disappointment that he will not be able to do so, but are optimistic that he will be fully recovered very soon.”
Gaborik, 31, was a key performer during Slovakia’s surprising fourth-place finish at the ’10 Winter Games in Vancouver, leading the team with four goals in seven games while averaging over 17 minutes a night.
He had five goals and 12 points for Columbus through the first 18 games of this season.
“I’m extremely disappointed that I won’t be able to play for Slovakia at the Olympic Games but understand the decision is the right one for my recovery and for the national team,” said Gaborik. “I have been lucky and proud to represent my country at two Olympic Games and other international tournaments and look forward to doing so again in the future.”
Slovakia will have an extremely difficult time replacing Gaborik’s offense and overall pedigree. The country doesn’t have a wealth of NHL talent to choose from — all 13 active Slovaks in the league made the Olympic team, which includes Chicago sniper Marian Hossa and Boston captain Zdeno Chara. Isles defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky has already been ruled out of playing for the Slovaks because of concussion concerns.
According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, former NHLer Branko Radivojevic will replace Gaborik on the Slovakian team. Radivojevic played in nearly 400 games with the Flyers, Coyotes and Wild before moving to the KHL in 2008-09.
UPDATE: According to the KHL, Radivojevic is indeed the replacement.
- Panthers owners say they’re committed even though team has lost ‘tremendous amounts of money’ 3
- Update: Wild’s Harding out indefinitely with fractured foot 17
- Johansen heads home from Columbus as talks get even messier 14
- Kesler accuses Vancouver media of making up stories, ‘throwing people under the bus’ 19
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal 49
- Mike Yeo is pretty unhappy with Minnesota’s goalie situation 20
- Much to his relief, Lecavalier will start season at center 14
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands 61
- Advantage Kuemper? Harding on crutches after ankle injury 15
- Done deal, finally: Wings ink DeKeyser to two-year, $4.375M extension 11
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands (61)
- Chiarelli: At some point, I’m going to have to trade a defenseman (56)
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal (50)
- Will the NHL publicize divers? (48)
- No icing on the PK? The USHL will see how that looks (43)