Kronwall headed to Torino
Update (2:15 PM): More from the Freep:
Wings general manager Ken Holland confirmed Monday that Kronwall was to head to Torino that night, expected to arrive Tuesday morning. Sweden plays Slovakia at 8 p.m. Torino time. Kronwall is coming over to join the Swedish taxi squad but might play because Niclas Havelid has suffered a knee injury.
It'll be great for Nik to get some playing time, if he can, but it's a big risk to take. The Wings can't afford to have him get injured again.
However, as the Freep points out, Sweden only has four more games, at best: "The quarterfinals are Wednesday, semifinals Friday and the medal games Saturday and Sunday." So, he'll be able to work on getting into better game-shape but because he's missed so much of the tournament already, there's less a chance for re-injury while playing the less physical Olympic style.
Update (5:59 PM): Helene St. James has emmended her article on this. The relevant part now reads,
Kronwall is coming over to join the taxi squad, but might play because there is some question as to the status of Niclas Havelid, who has tweaked a knee. Swedish coach Bengt-Ake Gustafsson said that Havelid would play Tuesday, but that Kronwall was the first defenseman substitute. “Niklas is going to come down here and be ready if we have some injuries,” Gustafsson said. “He was the best defenseman at the World Championships last year; he came in and played really well for us. He has a lot of skill. Unfortunately he got hurt earlier this season, and he had a tough time, but he worked so hard to try to make this team. Now he is catching up. We hope that if we have any injuries, he is here and can help us.”IwoCPO over at Abel to Yzerman points out that the Swedes are likely to find a way to get Kronwall on the ice. They've lost in the quarterfinals in the last two Olympics and will want the best players available to ensure it doesn't happen again, even if it means screwing over the Detroit Red Wings. Iwo puts it this way:
"Kronwall’s recovery, if necessary, after the Olympics is of zero concern to Gustafsson, the Swedish hockey program or the country itself. In fact the only Swedes who are concerned at all about Kronwall’s ability to play out the NHL season are the four Red Wings who will be playing with him the rest of this tournament."I imagine Holland isn't all that happy about this but Kronwall obviously got the call and he can't exactly ignore his country, can he? Maybe it's time to start cheering for an early Swedish elimination. Slovakia/Finland final, anyone?