Nyquist making a strong push to be added to Team Sweden with fifth goal in six games

DETROIT >> Gustav Nyquist has plans of being someplace warm when the Olympic break comes around.

But he is willing to change them.

With Johan Franzen withdrawing from Team Sweden on Thursday because of issues with a concussion, Nyquist’s name will now be bantered about as a possible replacement for the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

“It’s not something where if you have travel plans, a trip booked or something like that, you wouldn’t be too sad to leave that behind and go to the Olympics,” Nyquist said after the team’s morning skate Friday at Joe Louis Arena. “I’d love to go. It would be an amazing experience. We’ll see what happens. It’s not the way you want to get a spot on the roster, see one of your teammates not be able to go. But I’d love to go.”

Nyquist is one of three players on Sweden’s reserve list, along with Nashville’s Patric Hornqvist and Washington’s Marcus Johansson.

“It’s something I had as a goal,” Nyquist said. “I knew it would be tough for sure to get a spot, but it’s something I’ve had in the back of your head. It doesn’t come around too often. All the great players are going. It would be amazing experience for sure.”

Nyquist said he hasn’t heard anything from officials on if he’ll be the replacement of not.

Five other Swedes on the Wings’ rosters – Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Daniel Alfredsson, Jonathan Ericsson and Jonas Gustavsson – will also be going.

Another spot on the roster may open depending on the status of Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin, who questionable due to bruised ribs.

“That’s for management to decide,” said Henrik Zetterberg, who is the captain for Sweden. “They’ll probably make a decision soon.”

Nyquist scored a goal in his fifth in six games Friday night against the Capitals.

He’s got 10 goals and 17 assists in 29 games this season.

Franzen played one game, last Sunday, after missing the previous 16 due to concussion-like symptoms.

“The whole thing’s been a tough break for the Mule,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Mule’s a man with two young kids and you need to be healthy for that first. Life is way more important than hockey so you need to get feeling good and it’s hard to have the kind of life you want unless you’re feeling good.

“We’ve got to get this looked after and then the next step would be for him to get his hockey back,” Babcock continued. “But we’ve got to be diligent about the process we’re going through so he can be healthy.”

The Wings placed him on short-term injured reserve Tuesday.

The earliest he could return to the lineup is Monday, but that appears highly unlikely according to Wings general manager Ken Holland.

“It’s doubtful we’ll play him before the Olympics,” Holland said on Thursday. “Hopefully he’ll be ready to go after that.”

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