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ICE HOCKEY

Franzén injury blow to Swedish Olympic hopes

Swedish ice hockey star and Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzén will be out for four months with a torn knee ligament and risks missing the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.

Franzén injury blow to Swedish Olympic hopes

The 29-year-old suffered the injury to his left knee on Thursday in the Red Wings’ 3-2 win over Chicago in which Franzén scored.

Franzén, who goes by the nickname ‘The Mule’, won a Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2008 and a gold medal with Sweden’s Tre Kronor at the 2006 World Championships.

One of the top Swedish goal-scorers in the NHL last season, he notched 34 goals in 71 games and had all but booked his place in the national squad for next year’s Olympics in Vancouver.

Sweden play their first Olympic match on February 17.

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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.”