Finland is in trouble. When Mikko Koivu and Valtteri Filppula bowed out of the 2014 Winter Olympics this week with ankle injuries, Finnish management began working the phones to find last-minute forward help.
Panthers have confirmed that Sean Bergenheim did turn down Finlands last minute Olympic invitation. Pretty amazing. #flapanthers— Harvey Fialkov (@hfialkov) February 8, 2014
Amazing, indeed. Bergenheim has never been selected to play for his home country in the Olympics before despite participating in three World Championships during his career. At 30 years old, this was likely his last real chance at playing for Finland on the big stage. So why turn Finland down?
Apparently because he doesn't trust his body yet after spending most of the last year battling abdominal injuries. The Miami Herald spoke to him on Friday:
"I had to make a decision with my best interests in mind. I really feel I need to the break. I'm happy with how far I have come, but I could take a real step forward after the break.''
The reasoning is sound, especially considering Bergenheim has struggled to find solid footing this year with just 19 points in 43 games.
Finland has replaced Koivu and Filppula with Jarkko Immonen and Sakari Salminen.