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Bergenheim rejected Finland’s Olympic invitation

Feb 8, 2014, 1:52 PM EDT

TORONTO,ON - JANUARY 30: Sean Bergenheim #20 of the Florida Panthers waits for a faceoff during an NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre on January 30, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Leafs defeated the Panthers 6-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

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.

  1. valoisvipers - Feb 8, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    Good for him! Yes the Olympics are special but it is refreshing to see someone think of their team and self health first.

  2. blomfeld - Feb 8, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT !

    Notwithstanding his own personal situation, Bergenheim has likely made a wise decision here and so ‘good on him’ for having the strength of conviction to do what ‘he’ feels is right. If I were in his shoes, I’d probably tell the Finnish Ice Hockey Federation to go and piss up a rope as well.

  3. flyerspsu - Feb 8, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    I know how Bergeheim feels, (not the turning down Olympic part) I fractured my hip when i was young, it was a freak incident, i was out 3 months and had to go through rehab but when i came back my hip wasnt right, it wasnt long before the fracture opened again and I was out another 3 months with rehab. B/c I was so young when I initially broke it it never healed properly and progressively got worse over time, nobody understood when I would have to sit out months for it.

    Junior year I made varsity soccer and was a starter (until i got suspended for cursing off a ref), half way through the season my hip gave out again, I missed the rest of the season and the coaches questioned me on my injury. Senior year during tryouts it gave out again b/c it never really recovered since the year before despite months of physical therapy so on the 8th day of tryouts, 6 days after the last cuts were made (or supposed to be), the Coach called me over, questioned my injury and that I could play and then said they don’t need me and cut me, havnt played soccer since

    a week later I had more tests done on my hip, they showed my hip was in such terrible shape I couldnt do any athletic activities for 3 months and would have to go through physical therapy yet again, my hip never did recover

    Bergheneim I FEEL YOUR PAIN!

  4. spetznaz777 - Feb 9, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    the guys never really had a good regular season, he got paid for his one decent playoffs with the lightning. its foolish to put so much on the guy. Florida is heading in the right direction though i think, just need to get the goalie situation figured out

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