Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/26/13
The San Jose Sharks are going to be without rookie forward Tomas Hertl for over a month as he recovers from knee surgery, and it’s a situation that will also keep him out of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Despite missing a couple of games over the last two weeks, Hertl is still the NHL leader in scoring (25 points) and goals (15) among rookies, and it was this offensive success that made him a candidate for a top-nine forward spot for the Czech Republic at the Olympics. According to Roman Jedlicka of TV Nova Sport, the 20-year-old winger won’t be playing in Sochi. Another evidence how serious is #sjsharks Hertl's injury: Czech national coach Hadamczik confirmed for isport.cz Tomas won't play in Sochi.— Roman Jedlicka (@jedli) December 26, 2013 Without Hertl, the Czech Republic’s top two lines could look something like this: Jakub Voracek (PHI) — David Krejci (BOS) — Jaromir Jagr (NJD) Jiri Hudler (CAL) — Tomas Plekanec (MTL) — Radim Vrbata (PHX) The Czech Republic isn’t among the top gold-medal contenders in Sochi, primarily due to a lack of quality goaltending, and the loss of Hertl could be what results in the team failing to make a strong run toward the medal stand. The squad will likely be forced to rely heavily on veterans from the 2010 Vancouver Games, including Krejci and Jagr, to have any chance of success.Filed under: Headlines, NHL, Nicholas Goss, Olympics
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