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Report: Finland to replace Koivu, Filppula with KHL standouts

Feb 7, 2014, 2:16 PM EDT

Sakari Salminen AP

Finland’s hopes of winning a medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics took a major hit when injuries to Valtteri Filppula and Mikko Koivu will keep both of them from playing in Sochi and they’ll reportedly be replaced by a pair of KHL teammates.

Juha Hiitela of Finnish outlet Urheilusanomat reports they’ll be replaced by forwards Jarkko Immonen and Sakari Salminen, both currently playing for Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod in the KHL.

Salminen is the sixth leading scorer in the KHL with 18 goals and 46 points. Immonen is a former New York Rangers prospect and 18th in the league in points with 36. If you’re not going to have two of the better players in the world in Koivu and Filppula, replacing them with guys playing on the same team makes for a smart move this close to the Olympics.

Florida Panthers forward Sean Bergenheim was a notable omission when the roster was first announced and not being chosen this time around makes for a real head-scratcher. Perhaps his poor health the past two years was too much of an issue for the Finns.

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