The Olympics have ended with one of the most dominating performances I've seen in a gold medal game. Yes, Backstrom would've helped Sweden make it a closer game, but make no mistake - Canada dominated the game from opening whistle until the last cleared puck and they only got better as the game progressed, outshooting the Swedes 13-4 in the third period.
Now that the Olympics are behind us, it is time to focus on the most important 10 days of the fantasy hockey season. The games in Sochi have caused a lot of grief to fantasy owners with numerous players getting injured. Pay close attention to those player updates because guys who were hiding injuries during the games will be getting checked out when they return home. The NHL roster freeze ended at midnight and I expect to see a flurry of players being placed on IR and guys being called up to take their place.
The end of the freeze will also bring back the NHL trade rumors. The deadline is next Wednesday and there are many big names being floated around including Ryan Callahan, Tomas Vanek, Ryan Miller, and Martin St Louis. Not only could these players see a rise in value by moving to a contender, but also keep an eye on the impact it will have to their old teammates.
The reports are still coming in, but here are a few of the biggest injuries to come out of Sochi and will only fuel the flames of the debate over whether the NHL should allow their players to participate in the 2018 winter games.
John Tavares C Islanders - Tavares tore his MCL and is done for the season. Not only is this a big blow to Tavares owners, but with a Vanek deal almost guaranteed you have to wonder what kind of numbers Okposo will be putting up after both of his linemates. It may be time to give Ryan Strome another shot since he is certain to be given every opportunity to produce in a lost season for the Islanders.
John van Riemsdyk LW Tor - JVR is rumored to have suffered a hand injury in Sochi. He will be examined in Toronto.
Henrik Zetterberg C Red Wings - Zetterberg had back problems before the Olympics and would likely have needed surgery whether he went to Sochi or not. He's done for the regular season and Stephen Weiss will have an opportunity to take his spot when he returns from IR this week. Weiss will be a good spec pickup, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Detroit make a move for someone else before the trade deadline.
Tomas Kopecky LW Panthers - Kopecky is out indefinitely with a concussion.
Aleksander Barkov C Panthers - The bad news continues for Florida with Barkov also out indefinitely with a knee injury, but he may not need surgery.
Zach Parise LW Wild - The team USA captain was seen having his thumb taped during the loss to Finland, but there are no details yet on the extent of the injury.
Mats Zuccarello LW Rangers - A broken hand will keep the Rangers leading scorer out at least 3-4 weeks.