Just a day after Steven Stamkos was forced pull out of the Olympics due to his inability to be medically cleared for the games, another NHL star has announced that he won’t be headed to Sochi. Columbus Blue Jackets winger Marian Gaborik will not represent Slovakia at the Olympics, as he has not sufficiently healed from a broken collarbone suffered December 21st in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
“Marian has worked extremely hard and done everything possible to rehabilitate his injury and return to the ice with the hope of representing his country in Sochi,” said Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen in a release. “We share his deep disappointment that he will not be able to do so, but are optimistic that he will be fully recovered very soon.”
The injury is the second major one that Gaborik has had this season. The broken collarbone was suffered in Gaborik’s first game back after several weeks with a sprained knee. Game shape would certainly be an issue given the amount of time he has missed so far this year. In the 18 games he has played, Gaborik has five goals and 12 points.
“I’m extremely disappointed that I won’t be able to play for Slovakia at the Olympic Games but understand the decision is the right one for my recovery and for the national team,” said Gaborik. “I have been lucky and proud to represent my country at two Olympic Games and other international tournaments and look forward to doing so again in the future.”
Slovakia named former NHLer Branko Radivojevic as his replacement. Radivojevic is currently playing for Bratislava in the KHL.
Slovakia’s first action is February 13th in a game against the United States.
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