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Finland announces Olympic team; Saku Koivu withdraws

Sean Leahy
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Tuesday is the final day for participating nations to announce their 25-man Olympic rosters for Sochi. As the hockey world awaits the hotly-debated Team Canada announcement later in the morning, Finland revealed their squad with very little surprises.

Via IIHF, here's the team:

Goalkeepers:
Kari Lehtonen, Antti Niemi, Tuukka Rask

Defensemen:
Lasse Kukkonen, Juuso Hietanen, Sami Lepistö, Olli Määttä, Sami Salo, Kimmo Timonen, Ossi Väänänen, Sami Vatanen

Forwards:
Juhamatti Aaltonen, Aleksander Barkov, Valtteri Filppula, Mikael Granlund, Jussi Jokinen, Olli Jokinen, Mikko Koivu, Leo Komarov, Petri Kontiola, Lauri Korpikoski, Jori Lehterä, Antti Pihlström, Tuomo Ruutu, Teemu Selänne

Notable names absent: Sean Bergenheim, World Junior hero Rasmus Ristolainen and Pekka Rinne (injured).

Had Rinne been healthy this season, he would have made the Finnish net even scarier than it currently stands with Lehtonen, Niemi and Rask between the pipes. Head coach Erkka Westerlund will be pretty confident with that group.

Mikko Koivu gets named as he deals with an ankle injury that will keep him out at least a month. As with any injury replacements, Finland has up until right before the tournament begins to swap him out should he be prevented from playing.

From one Koivu to another. One name not on the list is four-time Olympian Saku Koivu. According to Finnish reporter Matias Strozyk, Koivu was on the final list up until a few days ago before withdrawing from consideration because he wasn't happy with his recovery from a concussion he suffered in October that cause him to miss a month.

"I feel that in my case dreams and reality are conflicting," said Koivu in a statement. 'I would prefer to be replaced by a better-prepared player."

One final note: According to the IIHF, Teemu Selanne will become just the second hockey player ever to participate in six Olympic Games, joining countryman Raimo Helminen.

Teemu Forever!

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