- © RIA Novosti. Vladimir Fedorenko
© RIA Novosti. Vladimir Fedorenko
NOVOGORSK, Russia, January 21 (R-Sport) – Dynamo Moscow forward Sergei Soin's Olympic dream is over after a knee injury ruled him out of next month's Sochi Games, with no replacement likely to be named soon.
The 31-year-old grinder picked up his injury last week in a 6-3 defeat to SKA St. Petersburg, colliding with defenseman Maxim Chudinov.
“As a result of profound examination, it was discovered that Sergei Soin won’t be completely ready by the beginning of the Olympics,” Dynamo spokesman Mikhail Kravchenko said. “Each athlete representing our country should be in the best physical shape and only in this case we can count on a good result.”
Russia coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov will now have to find a substitute for Soin to complete the 25-man roster led by NHL stars Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin, but Russian Hockey Federation president Vladislav Tretiak said no replacement was likely to be named soon.
"The coaches are looking and watching out for who to replace Soin with," he said. "There's no sense hurrying."
Tretiak said Soin had been picked for his defensive skills, but that did not necessarily mean the same type of player would be picked to replace him. Those comments could potentially open the door for more offensive forwards left off the original roster, such as Alexander Semin of the Carolina Hurricanes or Nail Yakupov of the Edmonton Oilers.
Soin has scored seven goals and made six assists in 19 KHL games this season and made two appearances for the Russian national team in Euro Hockey Tour games. He has won the KHL's Gagarin Cup with Dynamo in the last two seasons.
The Olympic hockey tournament will be held in the 12,000-seat Bolshoy Ice Dome from February 12 to 23, with Russia playing its first game against Slovenia on February 13. Also in Russia's pool are the United States and Slovakia.