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The Replacements: Selanne named Finnish captain, Landeskog takes Sedin’s ‘A’ (Updated)

Feb 10, 2014, 3:11 PM EST

SelanneFinland

In his sixth and what appear to be final Winter Olympics, Teemu Selanne has received a pretty high honor.

The 43-year-old vet will captain the Finnish team in Sochi, according to NHL.com. The door to serve as Finland’s captain was opened after the Koivu brothers — Saku and Mikko — were unable to participate in the ’14 Games (Saku captained Finland in Vancouver; Mikko was in line for the honor in Sochi.) Selanne was the most logical choice given his tireless contributions internationally and, earlier in the day, learned he’d open the tournament on Finland’s top line alongside youngsters Mikael Granlund (21 years old) and Aleksander Barkov (18).

In related developments, Flyers d-man Kimmo Timonen and ex-Leafs forward Leo Komarov — now playing with KHL Moscow Dynamo — will serve as Finland’s alternate captains.

Finland’s geographical neighbor and biggest rival, Sweden, also announced a change in its leadership group today.

Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog — who, at 21, is the youngest player in the NHL to wear the “C” — will serve as an alternate for the Swedes, replacing the injured Henrik Sedin. (Henrik Zetterberg will serve as team captain.)

It appears Landeskog’s primed to fill a much larger role with the Swedish team that originally thought — last month, the Avs forward said he planned on serving in a bottom-six role in Sochi but, on Monday, was placed on a top line with Zetterberg and Alex Steen.

Here are the forward line combinations for Sweden, as per Sportsnet.ca.

Gabriel Landeskog-Henrik Zetterberg-Alex Steen

Daniel Sedin-Nicklas Backstrom-Loui Eriksson

Gustav Nyquist-Patrik Berglund-Daniel Alfredsson

Carl Hagelin-Marcus Kruger-Jimmie Ericsson

Marcus Johansson and Jakob Silfverberg were listed as the extra forwards.

  1. bruinsfan55 - Feb 10, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    Wow Landeskog has been given the ‘A’ for Sweden. Must be awesome to feel that so many people have confidence in you especially being named captain of Colorado at 19 years old I believe too.

    • 19to77 - Feb 10, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      Kid’s got nowhere to go but up. He’s not the first guy to have huge potential at a young age, but for a 20-year old to be as mature and respected and trusted by his coaches as he is… Landeskog earns everything he’s given, and he’ll show it at the Olympics too.

  2. stepanup - Feb 10, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    Landeskog can play. I think 12 points in the last 9 games, with a point in each? I’m excited to see him with Zetterberg and Steen, at least when they’re not playing Team USA.

  3. pastabelly - Feb 10, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    I was listening to NHL Radio on XM this morning. Some guy with a show called West Coast Bias said that Tuukka Rask is second rate goalie and that goaltending was an issue for an otherwise medal contending team. Yikes, if Tuukka Rask is your problem, you really have no problems. Canada would love to have such a “problem”.

  4. jweipp17 - Feb 10, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    I’m surprised that as well as Zetterberg and Nyquist have been playing together that they aren’t on a line together. They have had great chemistry lately.

  5. gmenfan1982 - Feb 10, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    Landeskog is one if my favorite players in the NHL. Takes a lot of shots, hits, scores, all around hockey player.

  6. phillyphanatic77 - Feb 10, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    That Finnish goaltending trio is deadly. The Finns may not have the firepower of say Russia or Canada up front, but they have a savvy defense protecting some legitimate athleticism in net. I think they end up with a medal in Sochi.

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