Five Wild players named to Olympic rosters
Two more Minnesota Wild players have been named to international rosters for next month’s Olympics, meaning the club will have five representatives skating in Sochi.
Wild forwards Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund were named to Finland’s roster on Tuesday, joining Team USA’s Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, as well as Switzerland’s Nino Niederreiter.
The American squad was announced on New Year’s Day, while the Swiss roster was revealed Jan. 6.
Koivu, the Wild’s captain and leading scorer with 35 points, has played in 14 Olympic games. He won a silver medal with Finland in 2006 and had four assists in the country’s 2010 bronze campaign. His participation at the Sochi Games, which commence men’s ice hockey play on Feb. 12, is in jeopardy, though, after he underwent surgery Monday to repair a fractured right ankle.
Currently on injured reserve, Koivu will be out for approximately a month. Assuming he can take the ice for Finland, Koivu is expected to be the team’s captain.
Granlund, like Niederreiter, will be making his first appearance at the Olympics. In the 2011 World Championships, Granlund scored a sensational goal in the semifinals against Russia, helping Finland to win the gold.
Both Parise and Suter won silver medals for the United States at the 2010 Olympics, each serving as an alternate captain.
Since Team USA (Group A), Finland (Group B) and Switzerland (Group C) are in different groups, none of the five Wild players will face each other as opponents in the first round.