About an hour after reports surfaced that Tyler Seguin was likely to miss the World Cup with a minor injury, Team Canada announced that Buffalo Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly has replaced the Dallas Stars center on their roster.
Seguin sustained a knee injury that likely would keep him out on a week-to-week basis according to Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet. It is unclear when the injury occurred, but it was enough that Canada didn’t want to take a chance keeping Seguin and not being able to replace him after the tournament starts.
The Stars released a statement saying that Seguin will return to Dallas, where he will be reevaluated. It does not sound like the team nudged Canada to send him home.
Seguin also released a statement through the Stars:
“I’m disappointed that I can’t represent Team Canada at the World Cup of Hockey. Any time your country calls, it’s a great honor and is something every kid from Canada dreams about getting the chance to do. While I’m upset that I don’t get the opportunity to play, I understand the situation Team Canada is in with a short tournament. I wish all the best for that team and the good news is that I’ll get to be with my Stars teammates from day one.”
The World Cup would have been Seguin’s first major international tournament with Canada after being passed over or being unavailable in previous years.
Canada has already had to replace forwards Jamie Benn and Jeff Carter on their initial roster, and now lose another player that was expected to be a key contributor in Seguin. The Stars center had an assist over the two exhibition games he played in against Team USA.
Losing a player of Seguin’s offensive caliber was going to be really difficult to replace. Taylor Hall of the New Jersey Devils may have been the only available player that came close, but he doesn’t appear to be on Hockey Canada’s radar.
O’Reilly was productive last season for the Sabres, however, with 60 points in 71 games. He also played a substantial role on Canada’s back-to-back gold medal teams at the last two IIHF World Championships. That familiarity probably gave him the edge as a replacement.
Seguin’s absence likely leads to a more prominent role for Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry, who looked like he would be Canada’s extra forward after replacing the injured Carter. O’Reilly probably slides into that extra forward role, but we’ll see if he manages to get into Canada’s lineup for their final pre-tournament game to show what he can do. Team Canada closes out its pre-tournament schedule Thursday against Russia.
Source: CBS Sports / Tyler Seguin officially ruled out for World Cup; Canada adds Sabres’ O’Reilly