How Injury Might Impact the Olympic Rosters

The Olympic rosters have to be finalized by New Years and the NHL has seemingly hit the mid-season injury peak, so how will these injuries affect the final rosters? Using the prospective rosters for each team from NHL.com I broke it down team by team.

Canada: To put Stamkos on the roster or not to put Stamkos on the roster? That is the question. Steven Stamkos has set a personal goal to be back practicing by January and playing by February. So far his recovery has been at a remarkable pace as he was back on skates only 33 days after his leg was broken. However, if they put him on the roster and he is not ready they waste a roster spot. On the other hand, if they don’t put him on the roster and he is ready, the team has to wait for another injury to happen. Canada has plenty of talent to choose from so Stamkos’s absence is not devastating, although he would be missed.

USA: With only two injuries, USA is in pretty good shape. Dustin Byfuglin seems to be the logical choice since Paul Martin is injured. If Johnathan Quick is still having groin issues come the Olympics, Corey Schneider could take his spot and the third spot would fall to Ben Bishop or Jimmy Howard.

Sweden: If Henrik Zetterburg (herniated disc) is not ready, this would be a major blow for Sweden.  Louis Erickson (concussion), Victor Hedman and Alexander Edler are also injured. Johnny Oduya is a good replacement for Erickson and Marcus Kruger could fill one of the defensive openings.

Finland: With only Mikael Granlund (head) and Lauri Korpikoski (upper body) injured, Finland could be okay. They have some young talent available that could fill those spots.

Russia: Sergei Bobrovsky has a groin injury and should be good to go come Olympic time, but if he is still injured, Evgeni Nabokov could take his spot and the third spot would be open to someone else. If Bobrovsky is able to play Nabokov could take the third spot.

Slovakia: With Marian Gaborik (sprained knee), Richard Panik (undisclosed), and Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion) all questionable, Slovakia will have to go to European teams to fill out there rosters. There is no shortage of talent as several of those players do have some NHL experience.

Czech Republic: They seem to be the luckiest as their prospective team has no injuries.

Of course more injuries can happen and those currently (as of 12/14) on injured reserve can recover so good luck to all the GMs that have to figure this stuff out by January 1st.  

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