Ryan Suter and Patric Hornqvist did more than just clean out their lockers Wednesday. They finally came clean about their health in recent weeks.
Hornqvist revealed that he sustained a broken left hand April 7 at Phoenix. The injury caused him to miss the final regular-season game and four of the six playoff contests against Chicago.
It also will force him to sit out next month’s World Championships.
“The doctor told me I need to rest it for three weeks,” Hornqvist, who played for his native Sweden at the Olympics in February, said.
He added that the current diagnosis does not call for him to have surgery in order to insert any pins or screws into the hand.
Suter did not miss any games but he sat out a number of practices down the stretch and during the postseason because of a hamstring injury, which he said was an issue for several weeks. Each time Suter missed a workout, coach Barry Trotz said it was for “maintenance,” and claimed that the defenseman was not injured.
“It was a pain in the (butt),” Suter said. “Especially at a time when you’re needed and you want to be on top of your game, and I wasn’t able to do that.”
Hornqvist had a team-high 30 goals, and his 51 points in the regular season tied him with Steve Sullivan for the team lead. He played the first two periods of the playoff opener at Chicago and from start to finish of the ultimate contest on Monday – a 5-3 Nashville loss. He had just one assist and no goals in his abbreviated postseason.
Suter led the Predators in average ice time during the regular season at 23:58. He also was second overall in assists with 33 and second among defensemen with 37 points. His ice time was nearly identical during the playoffs (24:08) but he was one of three Nashville players who appeared in all six postseason contests yet did not have a point. Defenseman Francis Bouillon and forward Nick Spaling were the others.
“Not to make excuses, but it was frustrating,” Suter said.
Suter, like Hornqvist, will skip the World Championships. He was a key performer for Team USA when it won the silver medal at the Olympics but said he was not even invited to play at the World Championships because of his health.
“(Suter) played through some pain,” his defense partner Shea Weber, who had a fractured ankle and back problems during the season, said. “Some people might not do that, but give him credit, he played through it and he played well.”
• Goalie Pekka Rinne said he has accepted an invitation from Finland’s national team to play in the World Championships. Barring any unexpected developments, an official announcement could come as early as Thursday.
It will be the second straight appearance in the tournament for Rinne, who had a 1.93 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage in six appearances last spring.
“I think it’s a great chance to still do something special this year,” Rinne said. “Playing for your country, it’s a pretty special thing.”
The tournament will take place May 7-23 at Cologne, Mannheim and Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
• Defenseman Dan Hamhuis turned down Team Canada’s offer to compete at the World Championships. He has taken part in the tournament the past four years, but the birth of his second child during the season factored into his thinking this time.
“It was purely a family decision,” he said. “I wouldn’t have been able to take my family over there this year, and it would be very difficult for my wife to have two girls under the age of two on her own for a month.”
• Martin Erat was invited by the Czech Republic but, as of Wednesday, had not made up his mind. He has played for his national team two of the last three years and in the last two Olympics.
“I’ve said I’m never going to say no to the national team, but we’ll see how it goes,” Erat said. “ … It depends on how the (exit) physical is going to go.”
Erat, who tied a franchise record with four goals in the postseason, said he has issues with the back of one knee and with several fingers.