Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg will miss this month’s World Cup of Hockey, the NHL announced. Zetterberg, who was also expected to captain the Swedish team, suffered a knee injury during offseason training although he should be ready to go when the regular season gets underway on October 13th. It would have marked his 13th appearance in an international tournament for the Swedes.
Calgary’s Mikael Backlund has been named as Zetterberg’s replacement. He is coming off the best season of his NHL career so far after scoring 21 goals and 26 assists in 82 games for the Flames last year. Speaking with Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Herald, Backlund acknowledged that he knew there was a chance he’d be added if an injury were to arise:
“I had a little bit of a heads-up. (Head coach) Rikard Gronborg had called me the day they announced the team in the morning and told me that I was on the list if anybody got hurt. So I knew it could happen. But at this point in time, I wasn’t expecting it.”
Backlund is no stranger to international play having suited up in four World Championships previously as well as several junior tournaments.
[Related: Updated Swedish Roster]