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ICE HOCKEY

Sweden picks up Lundqvist for World Championships

Olympic gold medallist Henrik Lundqvist has agreed to join the Swedish national team for the remainder of the World Ice Hockey Championships.

Sweden picks up Lundqvist for World Championships

The star National Hockey League goaltender had to get clearance from the New York Rangers before he could play in the 2008 Worlds.

Swedish team manager Mats Näslund said on Tuesday night that 26-year-old Lundqvist is on his way to the Worlds but his status for Wednesday’s game against Switzerland is uncertain.

“The Rangers have cleared him and Lundqvist will arrive in Quebec City (Wednesday),” Näslund said.

He joins Swedish goalies Mikael Tellqvist and Stefan Liv but it is expected that Lundqvist will get the starting role.

Sweden beat Belarus 6-5 in their opener and then trounced France 9-0 on Monday.

This will mark Lundqvist’s fourth World Championships. He led Sweden to Olympic gold in 2006 in Turin, Italy.

The Rangers were eliminated from the NHL post-season on the weekend after losing their quarter-final series four games to one to Pittsburgh.

Lundqvist will add some star power to Sweden’s lineup, which is already missing many of its top players. Mats Näslund, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin and Peter Forsberg are either injured or decided to skip the event.

Lundqvist, of Åre, was named top netminder at the 2004 World Championship and has been nominated for the Vezina Trophy which is awarded each year to the NHL’s top goalie.

Canadian Martin Brodeur (who is not at the Worlds) and Russian Evgeni Nabokov (who is joining Team Russia later in the week) are also in the running for this year’s Vezina Trophy.

SPORT

Scary pictures of Eddie Läck stretchered off ice after violent collision

Swedish goalie Eddie Läck ended up in hospital after being sent sprawling as the Detroit Red Wings' Andreas Athanasiou scored a game-winning goal with 3:01 left in overtime.

Scary pictures of Eddie Läck stretchered off ice after violent collision
Eddie Läck was carried out on a stretcher. Photo: AP Photo/Gerry Broome

Athanasiou crashed into Läck on the play and the Carolina Hurricanes goalie, who missed significant stretches of the NHL season with concussions, was attended to on the ice for more than 15 minutes as both teams and the crowd in Raleigh, North Carolina, watched in silence.

He was taken off on a stretcher and on to hospital for evaluation, giving a thumbs-up sign as he was carried off the ice.


The moment Athanasiou crashed into Läck. Photo: AP Photo/Gerry Broome

The Hurricanes later released a statement saying Läck was undergoing tests but had full feeling in his extremities.

“I did see it,” Carolina coach Bill Peters said when asked about the replay. “[Athanasiou] obviously went into the net hard, and there was a little shot to the head there at the end of the play and that's where the problem lies right now.”

Athanasiou said he hadn't even realized he had hit Läck as he scored the goal that gave the Red Wings a 4-3 victory.

“I had a tight angle there, so I just tried to drive the net and I'm fortunate it worked out,” he said. “You never want to see a player go down like that and go on a stretcher. I hope he's okay. I had no idea I hit him.”