Joe McDonald, writing for ESPN, provides more info on an earlier note mentioning the absence of Team Sweden forward Rickard Rakell from practice today due to an unspecified illness. McDonald says Rakell remians hospitalized and did not travel with the team to the U.S today. McDonald’s article states Sweden’s head coach Rikard Gronberg had this to say about Rakell’s illness:
“He didn’t feel any better this morning, so he went back to the hospital. So far we haven’t found anything. We’ve got to be in contact with him [Monday] and then we’ll see where we’re at, and hopefully for his own sake we know what it is because right now we don’t.”
Rakell, a RFA who the Ducks are still trying to sign, was named to Team Sweden as a replacement for Blues forward Alexander Steen. He had a breakout season for Anaheim in 2015-16, scoring 20 goals and 43 points in 72 regular season games.
Should Rakell not recover in time to participate, Sweden would have until September 16th to designate a replacement, according to McDonald. His piece does not list any specific possibilities in that regard but speculatively speaking, the Swedes could choose either Alexander Wennberg, who tallied eight goals and 40 points as a rookie with the Blue Jackets, or Detroit’s Gustav Nyqvist, who has recorded three straight seasons of 40-plus points for the Red Wings.
On a side note, McDonald does say that Marcus Kruger, who missed Saturday’s game with an upper-body injury, was back on the ice for practice today. Kruger also said that he hopes to return to the lineup in Wednesday’s tuneup game against Russia. If Kruger is a go, he could step into the lineup and replace Rakell.