Following the revelation earlier in the day that a stomach virus has kept Rickard Rakell in Sweden while the rest of Team Sweden traveled to North America for the remainder of World Cup training camp, Team Sweden has announced that he will not participate in the tournament.
Rakell — who was himself a replacement for the injured Alexander Steen — will be replaced by veteran forward Patrik Berglund, the Swedish Ice Hockey Association announced Monday. Rakell was only able to participate in one exhibition game, registering an assist in 13:47 of ice time, before he was taken out of the lineup.
— NHLPA (@NHLPA) September 12, 2016
“He didn’t feel any better [Sunday] so he went back to the hospital,” Team Sweden coach Rikard Gronberg said Sunday. “So far we haven’t found anything.”
The uncertainty around Rakell’s situation likely contributed to the decision to replace him. Teams are able to add injury replacements up until 24 hours before the tournament kicks off. After that, rosters are essentially frozen.
The 28-year-old Berglund is no stranger to representing his country in international play. He captained Sweden’s World Junior team in his second World Junior appearance. He has also played for the Tre Kronor at the World Championships and was a part of Sweden’s Olympic roster at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Last season, Berglund put up 10 goals and 15 points through 42 games in an injury-shortened season for the St. Louis Blues.
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Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.